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Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Stop that plane! Donnie staying, Dirk coming

By Jeff Caplan

Dallas Mavericks president Donnie Nelson was in the ticket line at DFW shortly before he was to board a flight bound for Germany to meet with Dirk Nowitzki at the very moment the free-agent gates open tonight.

Then his cell rings. It's Dirk's personal coach and mentor Holger Geshchwindner. He tells Donnie not to board that plane. He and Dirk are coming to Dallas! (Thanks for the advance notice, Holger.)

Nelson was 45 minutes away from flying to Germany and being completely removed from those critical first few hours of free agency. Let's hope the Mavs' communication pipelines are less clogged when dealing with other free agents.

"It's great. It's a positive sign," Nelson said of Nowitzki's plans to come to Dallas. He and Holger get in Thursday, and the three will meet at Dirk's house.

Meanwhile, Nelson is now free to call the agents of free agents at 11:01 tonight.

"It frees me up," Nelson said. "AT 11:01 tonight I can work the phones and do all those things. We're going to call them all, from the A-level all the way down to minimum (salary) guys."