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Report: Nowitzki rejected max from Lakers, Rockets, to take three-years, $25 million in Dallas

Jul 15, 2014, 4:27 PM EDT

Dirk Nowitzki AP

We knew that Dirk Nowitzki was going to take a healthy pay cut because he wanted to stay in Dallas.

But now that we have the details of what he gave up…. damn.

Mark Stein has the story of how the Lakers and Rockets tried to poach Nowitzki but instead he shot them down and took even less than Tim Duncan to help out the Mavericks.

That’s a lot of money left on the table.

Nowitzki wasn’t leaving Dallas anyway, but certainly not to team up with Kobe Bryant in Los Angeles. He would actually be a great fit on the Rockets’ roster, but Houston had to know he would never do that to Mark Cuban and the Mavericks fans. Worth a shot, but they knew the answer.

Dirk made a sacrifice for the Mavericks, but this is a guy who has cleared more than $200 million in salary since he entered the league and has made more than $15 million eight straight years. Mavs owner Mark Cuban would have given Nowitizki whatever he wanted, but Dirk was willing to make the sacrifice.

It’s a very different situation than LeBron James or Carmelo Anthony, two guys in their prime earning years who some fans wanted to see take less. That would just be another win for the owners in the last CBA, which was already a complete rout.

Dirk’s sacrifice could pay off on the court — Dallas has a very interesting lineup now starting Monta Ellis, Chandler Parsons, Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler. Even in a deep West that is a very dangerous team.

  1. zickhead - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    LOYALTY, too bad there’s only a handful of players these days that have it. Dirk, Kobe, Wade, Duncan.

    • 4thquartermagic - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:51 PM

      Don’t forget Melo! …. *snickers

    • spursareold - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:52 PM


    • sprest83 - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:54 PM

      Wade’s loyalty only exists if you pay him. That dude isn’t worth $16million per year

      • longtallsam - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:20 PM

        Same with Kobe

      • Kevin S. - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:46 PM

        Considering Wade opted out of a larger deal without getting any longer term security, I’m not sure where you’re going with that.

      • sprest83 - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:45 AM

        And still way over paid! What is confusing you?

      • gandalf47 - Jul 16, 2014 at 11:52 AM

        As Zickhead said, “there are only a handful … “. Why single out D. Wade (I’m not even a fan of his), when he opted out of a guaranteed contract to help improve the team, and gave up $10 in the process? This when his two former teammates both went for the max. But, to echo your comment, Bosh is not worth a max contract. Good for him for getting Miami to bite, but if I were Pat Riley, I would have thought twice (after crapping my pants after LBJ bolted).

        I guess I wouldn’t even care, but you left out almost everyone else in the NBA, who also fit your description.

      • Kevin S. - Jul 16, 2014 at 3:59 PM

        He gave back something like $10 million that he was already guaranteed. If you had a point, he’d never have opted out.

      • sprest83 - Jul 21, 2014 at 11:42 AM

        He only opted out because of Lebron, not because he wanted to help the Heat. He wanted to see what James was going to do.

    • philswfc08 - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:55 PM

      kobe and his $25mm salary this year…interesting show of loyalty on his part!

      • urodaddy07 - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:41 PM

        Not a Kobe apologist, but he doesn’t really deserve the flack. We keep being reminded that this is a business. Why shouldn’t he take the money they offered. He had earned that franchise much more money than they’re paying him. I can’t sit here and say he doesn’t deserve it. That would be unfair to him. But, he and the front office will have to deal with the implications of that. Neither of them have any right to complain about the team not being contenders. They both must have known this contract would limit their flexibility. As far as I know neither the management nor Kobe explored the option of taking less money. They have to live with that decision. But we need to stop bashing Kobe for doing what 95% of us would have done. And just because other guys took a pay cut means he did something wrong.

      • rrhoe - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:15 PM

        I once read that for Kobe’s 24mil salary he only gets like 10mil of that after all is said and done–so between taxes,lawyers,agents–they lose money on a scale we can only dream of. So I have no problem with a player getting all that he can.

      • spthegr8 - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:30 PM

        THANK YOU!!! Couldn’t have put that any better.

      • spthegr8 - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:31 PM

        P.S. As a Laker fan. I’m glad he turned that offer down too. pheeeeeeew!!

    • dominwindhamnh - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:57 PM

      KOBE???? Yeah, took the max plus to handicap his team…what a trooper…

      • skins26portis - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:03 PM

        I wonder if Kobe will puss out this year when his team is below %500. and his team is not in contention for the playoffs 8th spot in Feb. Hey what do you expect when you call out teammates (Gasol ,Howard)in the media when your team is not playing well . Kobe likes to blame his teammates when things go bad. Remember Kobe told Pau “to put on his big boy pants”. He told us that D-12 needs to be more serious .
        Laker fans you only have this guy to blame why your going to suck again. Also no big time free agents want to play with him cause he likes run tell that . Poor Laker fans you will be on suicide watch again this upcoming season . #ClippersRunLANow.

      • elrock7 - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:00 PM

        Nobody wants to play for the Lakers anymore…I think Jack Nicholson just became a Clippers fan.

      • dacoolest1eva - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:06 AM

        So how are the Lakers able to offer players like Carmelo and Dirk multi year max deals if Kobe’s taken all the cap space. Sounds like a bunch of haters to me, so no one’s said anything about Chris Bosh undeserved deal. I’ve read post that state D Wade is greedy for his deal, c’mon son find something to pacify yourselves.

    • bkbell3 - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:28 PM

      zick, LOYALTY and dallas in the same sentence? I just thru up in my mouth a little bit. So the millionaire is giving the BILLIONAIRE a discount? That same billionaire who after winning a chip wanted all his free agents,tyson,terry etc., to take one year deals so he could dump them the next year to yet again chase shinny objects?It’s a business and when a team is done with you they will trade you or cut you in a heart beat and most fans if they agree with the front office will gladly kick said player out the door for the next shinny object. And do you think that dirk isn’t going to have a no show job for life with dallas after he is done playing? Selective loyalty at it’s best. smh

      • davidly - Jul 16, 2014 at 3:19 AM

        This. Their bringing Tyson Chandler back would be brilliant if letting him go in the first place had been in an honest attempt to improve in the interim. Instead, it’s an implied admission of failure — to which Nowitzki has declared his loyalty. Favorite sons have a tendency to do that.

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:06 PM

      $25 million… for THREE years?

      Kobe will make $25 million just next year alone…

    • clarencewhorley - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:00 PM

      Love Dirk.

      Would anyone be surprised if 25 million or more was parked in a Swiss bank account?

      Never understood why a owner wouldn’t say here is 5 million that goes towards our cap but my friend Mr. GILLETTE or Mr. M&M has a 20 million TV commercial deal if you sign with us.

      • sdlakerfan - Jul 16, 2014 at 1:17 PM

        That what I’m thinking – there’s got to more to this story. Could have made 70+ mil and decided to play for 25 mil??? Agree he’s a loyal guy but Cuban has deep pockets and there are likely ways to compensate Dirk’s loyalty.

    • lawrinson20 - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:14 PM

      No such thing as “loyalty” in this business.

      Why aren’t owners/GMs accused of disloyalty when they waive, trade, or don’t match an offer sheet for a player? When the rockets didn’t match for Parsons, why is that just ‘a business decision?’

    • zftrampage - Jul 16, 2014 at 7:12 AM


  2. amlowlife - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:31 PM

    Glad Dirk is staying. The Mavs will be fun to watch.

    • apkyletexas - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:52 PM

      I would love to see them sign Lance Stephenson to play the 2011 Jason Terry crazy-eyes role for the team. A team like that, coached properly by Carlisle, could upset the whole NBA applecart again.

  3. thesixersbench - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    Ze Germans….loyal to the bitter end.

    • spursareold - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:02 PM

      Haben Sie gehört das deutsche Band?

  4. lbeezyse - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:36 PM

    It keeps getting better hearing about players shooting down the Lakers.

    A fresh dose of reality for all those “fans” that said players will take pay cuts to play for the storied gold/purple.

    • asimonetti88 - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:07 PM

      What about players shooting down Houston?

      Or do we only care about the Lakers?

    • sportsfan18 - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:10 PM

      thing is, there ARE folks on here that post regularly that said Kobe wanted a 6th ring so badly that he’d take a LOT less.

      Just last summer on this very site.

      One regular poster still today who said that he could see Kobe taking the veteran’s minimum to like $5 million a season because he wanted his 6th ring so badly…

      I find going back to last summer, free agency, the Finals time and reading some of what was said to be rather hilarious.

      It’s fun to be a fan and to root for one’s team, but some folks just ignore reality completely.

      • skins26portis - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:09 PM

        Hey Sportsfan18 are you a Laker hater ? I must admit I’m a Laker hater who lived in LA for 25 yrs . I just can’t stomach their arrogant and obnoxious fans . Being a Kings fan since the days of Webber and Divac you can see why I have no love the Lakers. They believe they are entitled to win a Championship every year. We’ll guess what you can’t even make the playoffs . How karma is a bitch .

  5. loubearkane - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    Dirk will be 37 in 4 days
    Wade turned 32 in January
    Duncan is 38

    So good for Wade to get his money he deserves it.

    I find myself rooting more and more for players to remain on one team throughout their career.

    Talk about a horrible trade Dirk Nowitzki for Robert “Tractor” Traylor (R.I.P)

    • eugenesaxe1 - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      Yeah, wade’s broken body deserved it.

    • spursareold - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:03 PM

      Wade’s knee is like 90, though, so it evens out…

    • duhwighthoward - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      Wow, Tractor Traylor!

      Since there never had been an even halfway decent player that looked like an enormous out of shape tub of lard, why did anyone give that guy a chance?

      I remember he was so disgustingly fat, he had these giant rolls of fat protruding out of the armpits of his jersey!

      • asimonetti88 - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:12 PM

        Charles Barkley was pretty good.

      • duhwighthoward - Jul 16, 2014 at 2:14 PM

        asimonneti, what is your life insurance policy worth?

    • dudermcrbohan - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:45 PM

      Dirk will be 37 in 4 days

      he actually just turned 36 last month.

      • loubearkane - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:48 PM

        F’in Wikopedia

  6. cameltoehoe - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:44 PM

    A wise man by the name of Chris Brown said it best about Hoes & loyalty.

    • dominwindhamnh - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:00 PM

      Who did he play for?

      • skoivu10 - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:03 PM

        I believe he plays hockey for the Washington Capitals…look it up

    • mackcarrington - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:34 PM

      Is this the same wise Chris Brown who beat that chick singer to a bloody pulp?

  7. misterdreamer119 - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    Hes a fool he should have gone to houston and brought parsons with him.

    • jpthecyberhedgehog - Jul 15, 2014 at 6:45 PM

      Maybe it would have brought him more success to go to Houston, but he is a Maverick for life. He is the greatest Maverick of all time and has played there all of his life. He wants to bring Dallas and only Dallas success. He is a Maverick for life and I would be stunned if he went anywhere else.

  8. antistratfordian - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    Let me comment on this like I was a LeBron hater and he was LBJ:

    What a coward. He’s trying to stack the deck so he can win rings. He wants everything handed to him. MJ took 30 million a year at his age, and he’s only taking pennies so he can surround himself with stars so he can get carried to more rings.

    • dominwindhamnh - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:58 PM

      Dumbest comment ever.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:02 PM

        Hey, that’s what was being said about LBJ this summer when people thought he was going to ask for less than max. White players and uncle toms can take pay cuts and they’re unselfish – black players take pay cuts and people are cynical – “Florida has no taxes”, “He just wants to be carried”

        Ahhhh, never change America!

      • duhwighthoward - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:15 PM

        @antihintofabrain, no one says Uncle Tom anymore. Get away from your computer, go outside and interact with people.

        Your oral fixation on LeBron’s jockstrap is best reserved for bedroom play between you and your partner, not this website you sicko.

    • bougin89 - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:31 AM

      “MJ took 30 million a year at his age” ?

      MJ was 33 & 34 and still winning MVP and Finals MVP awards when he was making 30 and 33 million per year.

      There were plenty of people on here saying Lebron should take max money because he deserves it.

      • antistratfordian - Jul 16, 2014 at 2:59 PM

        Hey, it’s not my argument. This is the haters argument.

  9. mutasian - Jul 15, 2014 at 4:52 PM

    good luck

  10. sisisisisisisi - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    Germany winning the 2014 World Cup is priceless

    Dirk Nowitzki

  11. jadaruler - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:19 PM

    Love Dirkie, but sacrifice is too strong of a word to use. We’re talking about a guy who has made over 200 mil w/o an agent. He is making 8+ mil a year in a career that’s spanned over 3 decades.

    I don’t blame Dirk for what he did and I don’t blame Wade or Kobe either.

    • gandalf47 - Jul 16, 2014 at 12:06 PM

      Just to be clear – no need to blame Wade. He actually LOST money by being loyal and trying to help attract another big name. The money that the Heat saved, they gave to Bosh. Let’s see how THAT works out for them. Again, I’m not a Wade fan, but the context of this “discussion” is focused on who is and is not “greedy”.

      The owners are greedy. Period. This CBA is terrible for the fans (maybe not in Cleveland, but who cares about them?), and players are scrambling to position themselves for the next fight. If this CBA is not modified in some way, I think the players will strike first chance they get – forget about lockouts.

  12. bux1022 - Jul 15, 2014 at 5:21 PM

    Lebron took less to go to Miami. Great reporting!

  13. bobb12901 - Jul 15, 2014 at 7:42 PM

    just a silly article Dirk needs help

  14. jimbo75025 - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:41 PM

    While hearing Dirk giving interviews gives me the creeps (he sounds like Lurch from the Adams Family)-much respect to the guy. He has quietly (if that is possible) put together a first ballot HOF career while staying loyal to one team.

  15. jsala02 - Jul 15, 2014 at 8:56 PM

    OKC, Spurs, Clippers, Portland, Rockets, then Mavs. Just don’t see them getting over the hump by adding an older Tyson Chandler and Parsons.

  16. 00maltliquor - Jul 15, 2014 at 9:58 PM

    WOOOW!! I have sooo much respect for Mr. Dirk Nowitski. Just wow, that’s incredible. He gets his real worth (actually, He’s worth a bit more) and he wants to compete and doesn’t want to tie Donnie Nelson’s hands. Good for him! It’s hard not to root for that. Gotta love it!

  17. mackcarrington - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:30 PM

    He can afford to take less money. The german deutsche is worth more than the American dollar.

  18. kastout11 - Jul 15, 2014 at 10:49 PM

    Dirk deserves at least twice that amount. What can you say, like Duncan, he wants to win.

  19. campcouch - Jul 15, 2014 at 11:33 PM

    I’m sure Dirk has a nice job lined up with the Mavs after playing. Maybe European scouting. So he’ll be more than compensated the next 20 years.

  20. 1historian - Jul 16, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    The guy came to America, worked hard, made good, made lots of money – could retire right now and never worry about money because he’s used his head, and he wants at least 1 more ring before he calls it quits, he knows the franchise, he thinks that with the players they’ve got they have a real good chance to win at least 1 more title while he’s playing, so he takes a ‘pay cut’ to enable them to do just that.

    Granted that his boss is a bit of a doofus but as long as he (his boss) is kept on a leash and put in his pen at night everything is cool, so – what’s the problem?

    Go Celts!!!

    • titansbro - Jul 16, 2014 at 9:15 AM

      A doofus who is worth $3B & counting. If being a doofus pays that well, sign me the f*** up!

  21. scbaby2013 - Jul 16, 2014 at 11:25 PM

    Glad lakers didn’t get dirk. He’s old. Lakers need to get younger and work on the draft.

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