South Africa Rumors
Dirk Nowitzki stood in front of some Kenyan journalists and tried to impress them in their native language during Basketball Without Borders last week. Let’s just say his Swahili needs some work. “I saw some media members I’ve talked to before [from Kenya] and I tried some Swahili on them,” Nowitzki said. “It really didn’t go that well. But Kenya is into other sports. Soccer, cricket and rugby are really big. Basketball is not really their go-to sport.”
Nowitzki has made several trips to Africa, and his family went to Kenya to visit his wife’s family before arriving in South Africa for the NBA Africa Game and Basketball Without Borders. “We went to Kenya for eight days,” Nowitzki said. “We saw most of her family, traveled a little bit, saw a safari. We brought the whole family. We’re going to Europe for a bit. It’s hard traveling with three young kids: 4, 2 and 9 months. We’ve been traveling for a month. Germany, Sweden and now here.”
The location and roster may have changed, but it was the same old story on the court, as Team Africa were bested 108-97 by Team World in the NBA Africa Game in Johannesburg on Saturday. In the last NBA Africa game which took place two years ago, Team World defeated Team Africa 97-101, and there was little change this time around, as the ‘hosts’ – without injured co-captain Luol Deng and Cameroon phenom Joel Embiid – were outclassed by the travelling party.
To say the least, it’s a team-friendly deal — chump change by today’s NBA standards. “Mark and I obviously have a close, close relationship,” Nowitzki said from Johannesburg, South Africa, where he is participating in the NBA’s Basketball Without Borders program and will play in NBA Africa Game 2017 on Saturday. “Last year, he really, really took care of me as we all know. That was well-documented.
Dikembe Mutombo: People are talking about Angola. Angola has some great facilities that we might use in the future. We are looking at some of the logistics of how we are going to build. We are looking at some of the testing in some of the area. I don’t think the game will continue to be played here in South Africa. We will seek another part. Maybe in Senegal or Nigeria one day.