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Dirk Nowitzki questions Dallas’ rebuilding plans

Jan 7, 2013, 8:42 AM EDT

Denver Nuggets v Dallas Mavericks Getty Images

Dallas won the NBA title in 2011. But they were not built like the Heat team that they knocked off, nor the up-and-coming Thunder — teams of improving superstars. The Mavs had their aging superstar and a supporting cast that came together perfectly for them. It would have been difficult for Dallas to repeat.

So owner Mark Cuban looked at the roster, looked at the coming changes in the NBA’s new CBA — stiffer luxury taxes and limits on flexibility for high spending teams — rolled the dice and broke up the band. Tyson Chandler was gone. Jason Terry, Jason Kidd, and other keys to the Dallas title run were gone. The goal was to have cap space to get a superstar last summer.

Didn’t work. So Dallas built a team of short-term contracts so they will have cap space the next couple summers to chase another superstar. But in the short term Dallas is 13-21 overall and 2-8 in their last 10.

Which had Dirk Nowitzki questioning the plan to break up the band in the first place. From

“It’s going to be tough now,” Nowitzki said after the Mavs’ home overtime loss to the Western Conference cellar-dwelling New Orleans Hornets. “I always liked to think you don’t want to build your franchise on hope.

“We hoped for Deron (Williams) last year. We hoped for Dwight (Howard). Why would he leave the Lakers? To me, it makes no sense. He’s in a great situation. Why would (Chris Paul) leave? (The Los Angeles Clippers are) the best team in the league probably right now. They’re probably the deepest team. So are you going to hope that we get something?

“Maybe Cuban has something up his sleeve. Maybe you have to take a chance on a bad contract to get him in here and make something happen. I mean, I don’t know. That’s something we’ll have to see this summer. We’re going to play out this season. I’m going to get better and better, hopefully from game to game, so I can actually close out some of these games. And then we’ll see what happens.”

Losing sucks. The Mavericks aren’t used to it, they have gone to the playoffs 12 years in a row under Cuban. But that streak is about to end.

Cuban’s plan was a bold gamble. The thing about gambling is you don’t always win. And losing sucks.

  1. yourfutureanalyst1 - Jan 7, 2013 at 8:48 AM

    I’m not sure of who will be available after the season besides CP3 and D12, and Dirk has a good point. Why would Paul leave the Clippers? Dwight may leave the Lakers, and as likely as that is that isn’t a definite so this gamble could actually turn out as a bad bet for Dallas. They could try for Josh Smith but that’s not enough. Whoever is available after the season, the Mavericks will need to be young, fast and athletic to compete with the likes of the Thunder, Clippers, Grizzlies and of course the Heat.

  2. sportsnut101 - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:12 AM

    I wish dirk would shut up n just get healthy so he can play better. They have a decent team with chance of getting to playoffs.

    Hey Cuban why not trade dirk see what u could get back U had no problem not resigning the free agents from the title run

    So get what u can I’m sure u would get all star level player back

  3. riggz91 - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:27 AM

    Hope and change doesn’t work in the NBA either?

  4. baredon - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Hey Dirk… You’ve had your championship, etc. Your as done as the Mav’s are… Play another year and take your money to the house…

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 7, 2013 at 12:12 PM

      Dirk, nobody wants to play for Cuban, look at D-Will.
      Cuban is a loud mouth!

      • dacapt704 - Jan 7, 2013 at 3:40 PM

        Do you remember Dallas BEFORE Cuban??? Exactly…dude built them into a winner. Dirk needs to be the superstar he’s paid to be and raise the level of the team

  5. senorpapino - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    With the constant 50 win seasons and the title he brought to Dallas, Dirk deserves to finish his career with a contender. Hopefully they can get some young talent and even more cap room in exchange to start the rebuilding.

    • fanofevilempire - Jan 7, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      they should trade him to Toronto.

      • 00maltliquor - Jan 7, 2013 at 1:02 PM

        Yes! That would be fitting. Where aging Texan bigs go when they are at the end of their ropes. Just ask Hakeem Olajawon! Plus Toronto has a penchant for taking on europeans!

  6. eventhorizon04 - Jan 7, 2013 at 10:22 AM

    I disagree. The only really “old” member of that championship team that was a key contributor was Jason Kidd.

    At the time of breaking up the team 2 years ago, everybody else (Nowitzki, Chandler, Terry, Marion, Barrea, etc.) was 32 and younger. They still had a couple of good years left as a core (look at how long Boston’s core was a contender even as their Big 3 reached their mid-30’s), and the fact is, they had a team that was capable of beating the OKC Thunder and Miami Heat in a 7 game series.

    I think having a team that can beat the Thunder and Heat in a 7 game series is a team that is well-position to contend for titles, at least for a couple of years.

    • zerole00 - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:10 AM

      I agree they would have had a legit team for a few years, but happens after that? A lot of teams will have to adjust to the new luxury tax system (even Miami might be able to keep their big 3 together), and Cuban wanted to be ahead of the curve. I’m not saying they didn’t stand a good chance, but I would have been wary keeping that roster together for a new years with how the Clippers and Thunder are developing (and with Miami always looming in the horizon).

      • zerole00 - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:53 AM

        even Miami might not be able*

      • scalfor3 - Jan 7, 2013 at 1:24 PM

        Cuban is getting killed for making the tough but correct choice. The Mavs got red-hot at the right time, but that core was not likely to win another championship; locking up guys like Chandler, Terry and Barea would have killed any financial flexibility to change their team going forward.

        Boston is a bad analogy; KG, Pierce and Ray were still legit cornerstone players when the C’s acquired them, much better than any player not named “Dirk” on Dallas’ roster.

  7. zerole00 - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:07 AM

    I think Cuban made the right choice. The Mavs earned their championship by all means, but I don’t think their chemistry was going to overcome younger (and very hungry teams) like the Clippers and Thunder. They’re honestly better off bombing this season and getting a good draft pick than “competing” for the middle of the pack. Cuban thought long term, imagine the nightmare scenario the Nets are in right now.

  8. pittisit43 - Jan 7, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    The Mavs could’ve had Dirk and Chandler as a very strong front court, but the back court was going to struggle even if they kept the guys together. Jason Terry was declining last year. Jason Kidd can only play limited minutes to be effective. Shawn Marion has been god awful this season. Even if they kept everyone together I do not think they could’ve beaten the Thunder last year, and this year would only be a lower seeded playoff team.

    I think the Mavs should make a move for Demarcus Cousins, they need a rebounder badly and he could be apart of the future. Also try to make a move for Jose Calderon to make a run this year.

  9. jhuck92 - Jan 7, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Cuban is an ass. He screwed himself when he filmed commercials last summer instead of meeting with D Will or Howard. And now they’re 13-21.

  10. loungefly74 - Jan 7, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    congrats to the Mavs for winning a title in the first place…second, kudos to them for being contenders year in year out. the NBA is very hard to win titles in…how many champions have there been the past 30 years (starting in 1983)? 9! holy crap! only 9 teams…damn. heck, from 1980..its still only 9. whoa…25 titles since 1980 have been won by only 4 teams (spurs,laker, celtics, bulls)

    i’m sure Cuban will do whatever he can to help continue their success. Dirk needs to understand his “window” may be done…and to come away with 1 title is pretty darn good.

    • drunkenjunk - Jan 7, 2013 at 9:23 PM

      well said man. i love the Mavs and this sums up everything perfectly. its so hard to win a title and i know we’ll never be the lakers or celtics but who else is. with everything Cuban has done he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

    • paleihe - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:08 PM

      If you throw the Pistons in there, it’s 28 titles by three teams.

  11. felisberto - Jan 7, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    Dirk Nowitzki for Gasol.

    • zerole00 - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:50 PM

      Why bring in ANOTHER shooter? Offense isn’t the Laker’s problem, defense is.

    • paleihe - Jan 8, 2013 at 5:09 PM

      If you think Cuban is doing this deal, you’re crazy. No chance.

  12. dysraw1 - Jan 7, 2013 at 2:37 PM

    i think that clearing cap space is a move that will always cost your team a season or two,however the dividends are high draft picks an the abilty to sign up and coming players. its called rebuilding. even though that wasn’t what Cuban was going for, he was trying snatch up D-Will & Howard

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