The international squad Nowitzki would join ā which also featured future N.B.A. players Luis Scola (Argentina), Darius Songaila (Lithuania) and Dan Gadzuric (Holland) ā was already practicing in Dallas by the time he arrived. [….] What the two Germans didnāt realize going into their adventure is that the bulk of the international teamās practices were scheduled to take place in the Baylor Tom Landry Fitness Center, where the Mavericks practiced in the days before they had their own practice facility. They also didnāt know that a key member of the Mavericksā brain trust ā Donnie Nelson ā was scheduled to serve as an assistant coach with Nikeās international invitees that week. Such an arrangement, of course, wouldnāt even be allowed in the modern N.B.A. But the leagueās rules on scouting matters werenāt as restrictive 20 years ago, enabling Nelson to have a hands-on role throughout the early years of the Hoop Summit, starting when he was still working for the Phoenix Suns. As a result, Dallas was able to start building a relationship with Geschwindner ā and thus Nowitzki ā before the wunderkind even took the floor in San Antonio.
It was left to Donnie Nelson to remind his dad that the Mavericks had committed to drafting Nowitzki. All these years later, for his part, Nowitzki remains convinced that sneaking away to Texas in the spring of ā98 was the crucial catalyst for it all. āAt first I actually told Holger that I didnāt want to go [to the NBA the season after being drafted],ā Nowitzki said. āI was not happy with the idea of leaving my team. But if I didnāt play in that game, Iām not sure what my path to the N.B.A. would have been. Maybe I would have played in Spain or Italy first. Maybe I would have gone to college first. All the options were still on the table back then.ā In a phone interview last week, Geschwindner said from Germany: āIt was a pretty big gamble and we got really beaten up for that ā I was āmisleadingā a youngster and he was āselfish.ā Right now itās easy to talk about, but back then our butts were on fire.ā
Melissa Weishaupt: I am using my name because I am convinced that Cuban still doesnāt recognize the culture heās helped create or the plight of the women who still work for him. From where I sit, Markās response was to rush in like some white knight in a T-shirt and jeans and yell, Donāt worry, ladies of the Mavs, I will help you with paid counseling and a hotline you can call! Now you want to help? We are not fragile flowers. We donāt long for counseling. (As for that hotline: Iāve spoken with a dozen current and former team employees; we have no idea what this is or how to find it.) We want equitable pay. We need to be treated with respect. When deserved, we ought to be given the same promotions as our male counterparts.
Melissa Weishaupt: Iām using my name because I know that the human resources department is not always a safe haven. At the Mavericksāand Iām sure elsewhereāHR was there to protect management, not employees. Many workers, especially middle-class and minority workers do not have a voice or an advocate at their jobs. They should chronicle what happens around them, find a support group outside of work. But they should be cautious in dealing with HR. Yes, I was harassed while I worked for the Mavericks. But I am using my name now because I will never say that I am a victim. I am tougher. I am wiser. I am my own advocate.
As for the Greek Freak: Who made final call to pass him up, and why? "It was me," Cuban said. "Donnie [Nelson] was like, 'OK, I'm putting my you-know-whats on the table.' He was doing the Sam Cassell, Nick Van Exel dance. ... It's all in. And I'm like, 'Donnie, we have this plan.' Because even as good as the Greek Freak has turned out to be, he was still three years away, and we wanted to try to get somebody who could help get us to the top right there and then. Didn't turn out that way, it is what it is, that happens."
"Our guys were like, 'We should take the Greek Freak,'" Mavericks owner Mark Cuban said recently on Sirius XM NBA Radio, recalling the 2013 draft. "All we had was two tapes, and someone who would go to see him, but we were trying to get Dwight [Howard] -- that was the Dwight year, too. And, OK, we're trying, we have a plan, we're gonna stick to it. We thought we had a good shot. Didn't turn out that way."
Making an appearance on the ESPN telecast of the Mavs' Las Vegas Summer League game against Phoenix on Sunday, Cuban said things would different if his team ā coming off its first losing season since he took over in 2000 ā were in the Eastern Conference. "We're rebuilding, there's no question about it," said Cuban, who made headlines in May when he admitted the Mavericks tanked after being eliminated from playoff contention. "If we were in the East, we would not be rebuilding. We'd be handling things completely different."
Eddie Sefko: Mark Cuban on who has final call in draft: "Donnie (Nelson). Always. The only time I get involved is money and the money is already set.ā
Earl K. Sneed: Dirk Nowitzki says he hasn't had any discussion with the @Dallas Mavericks front office about Year 2 of his current deal. Mavs have a team option. pic.twitter.com/35IiFRbgXm
But with the Mavs eager to retool this summer in order to build a championship contender, Nowitzki says heās ready to work with team owner Mark Cuban and president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson to help with the reconstruction of the roster. āYou know, if you go on with a team like I have for so long, if thatās what it takes, I guess thatās what it takes. I did that decision last summer when I decided to sign on,ā Nowitzki explained after completing the first season of a reported two-year deal worth $50 million. āI obviously knew there was a possibility (of rebuilding), and at the end of the day I just canāt imagine myself in a different uniform, so thatās why I made that decision. Whatever comes, if weāre rebuilding, then Iām the face of that. If weāre (competing) for a championship, then Iām here for that."
Nowitzki: "Iāve just identified myself with the organization so long, with the fan base here and with the city that, you know, no matter what the team or the franchise is going through, Iām right there to push it through. Thatās why I signed on for two more years last year, and weāll just wait and see what team we have next year. But Iām here, obviously, to help in any way I can and whatever situation weāre going to be in next year.ā
āUnfortunately, since thereās no playoffs, weāve got plenty of time now,ā Nowitzki candidly said. āIāll be around for a while, and Iām sure weāll meet with Mark and with Donnie. You know, [Mavs coach Rick Carlisle] will be here and even [leading scorer Harrison Barnes], and weāll just see how we can help and how we can make this better. Maybe Iāll be in the draft room this year, if thatās what it takes. ā¦ I think weāve got plenty of time over the next few weeks to set a plan, execute the plan on draft day hopefully and maybe in free agency, and weāll go from there.ā
Dwain Price: "And I don't care what the reaction is. Everyone in the organization has been very positive." -- Mark Cuban on the addition of Tony Romo
From Cubanās perspective, having a top-notch coach is just as critical to success as finding a top-notch player. And when it comes to Carlisle, Cuban believes heās one of the top three in the business. āIāve said a million times, hiring a coach is the hardest job in professional sports,ā Cuban said. āAnd we got lucky; weāve got a good one.ā Carlisle is the franchiseās winningest coach with 411 victories and ranks 19th on the NBAās all-time list with 692 wins. He needs just five more victories to pass Red Holzman for 18th place on that illustrious list, and just eight more to become the 18th coach with at least 700.
"My agent said it's probably not going to happen, but I'm not the right guy to ask. The only thing I can tell you is I'm not banging on [Mark] Cuban's door or Donnie's [Nelson] door asking for a trade, contrary to what was [written] last month."
Tim MacMahon: Mark Cuban is the general manager of the Dallas Mavericks. Let's not get that twisted at all. Donnie Nelson does a lot of the contract negotiations, does a lot of the trade talks, but he does not make any of the decisions. Mark Cuban makes every single basketball decision. Mark Cuban makes decisions a lot of times where Donnie and Rick Carlisle have great input and sometimes makes decisions that go in the face of their advice.
Dirk Nowitzki on his future:: āMy goal is to fulfil my contract. In the summer I signed for two more years. But I also have to check on my health. No one knows where I will go later, but I think that Iāll always have a home here in Dallas. I have been here for 20 years now, my wife for ten. If I want to, I would get a job at the Mavericks so I think we might stay here after the end of my career.ā
September 23, 2021 | 4:49 am EDT Update
The Sixers would be best served if Simmons and Paul rethink their plans, though Simmons āis clearly aware of sanctions available to the organization to fine and suspend him, including withholding of salary,ā according to Wojnarowski. An NBA source said Wednesday that Simmons initially asked for a trade at the draft combine in Chicago āright afterā the end of the 2020-21 season. The Game 7 home loss to the Hawks occurred on June 20, with the combine running from June 21-27.
Simmons has apparently already received $8.25 million of his 2021-22 salary, with another $8.25 million due if heās on the roster Oct. 1. The Sixers arenāt saying what they plan to do or if they must make that payment when, barring a dramatic shift, Simmons follows through with his holdout, according to the source.
Rather than increasing Simmonsā value in a trade, the Sixersā preference is for Simmons to report and play this season in Philadelphia, according to an NBA source. Rivers said the same thing Wednesday: āWe would love to have Ben back.ā
Brandon āScoop Bā Robinson: 76ers retiring Kobe Bryant’s Lower Merion No. 33 like Heat retired MJ’s No. 23 ‘interesting idea’ @ScottONeil tells @BallySports: “Thatās something that @dmorey & @DocRivers & Elton will weigh on for sure. Thatās something that Chris Heck the President of 76ers will weigh on.”
September 23, 2021 | 2:02 am EDT Update
The Warriors recently connected Wiggins with an Oakland doctor who understands issues surrounding vaccine hesitancy, sources said. The doctor explained the suffering and deaths she has witnessed in patients who contracted the coronavirus, sources said, but Wiggins remains unmoved in his decision against vaccination.
San Francisco requires full vaccination to be allowed indoors for entertainment, including large events like NBA games at 18,000-seat Chase Center. New York City is the only other NBA market currently facing such restrictions. League sources believe the NBA will grant Wiggins a religious exemption, but San Francisco has the power to override it inside the city.