Dallas Mavericks: Mike Modano
|Mavs F Dirk Nowitzki says he's too old to stay with a rebuilding franchise but couldn't imagine himself leaving the city of Dallas. |
"We'll be OK, you know we already started resting people left and right. It's a little early in the season for that," Nowitzki told ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM's "Galloway & Co.," on Tuesday, sounding off presumably with tongue planted firmly in cheek. "We'll be OK. It's early."
Look, Nowitzki is a guy that hates to take any time off during the grind of an 82-game NBA season. It killed him to miss four games early this season to get his troublesome right knee into game shape and he even scoffs at taking time off during meaningless games at the end of the season. So, yeah, sure, maybe Dirk would have thought twice about giving big-league ball players a day off in mid-May.
"Yeah, I thought it was a little bit aggressive," Nowitzki said of Wash's rest strategy as uproarious laughter erupted in the studio. "I think Ron knows what he's doing. Obviously he led this team to the World Series back-to-back, so you know he's got experience and he knows his players best. Like I said, they've got so many games, then it gets rained out, then you got doubleheaders, so I mean it's a crazy sport and a crazy schedule, so I guess he knows what he's doing."
Now, as for Yu Darvish's shortest outing of the season Monday against those pesky Seattle Mariners, Dirk had thoughts on that, too. He says, fuggedaboutit.
"Hey, it's so many games in baseball, it's tough to bring it every night," Nowitzki said. "It's the same in really every sport. I mean, some nights, I mean, I can't even make a damn layup one foot away. It happens and you know you come back and work hard that week. I don't know what they're training involves, but he'll be back."
Overall, Dirk is liking what he's seeing from the ball club in Arlington.
"We've got a great pitching rotation, I think we're deep at the hitters," Nowitzki said. "So I think when it's all said and done at the end of the year, I think we're going to be there again if we stay injury-free."
Sometimes, love hurts. And while some of your favorites -- Pudge Rodriguez, Michael Young, Mark Cuban, Jimmy Johnson, Ron Washington, Bob Lilly, Jason Witten and Josh Hamilton -- didn't make the cut, take a look at who's left!
Your voting determined our Enamored Eight, and now you have until Sunday to vote and decide who advances to the Fantastic Four of our Metroplex Most Beloved sports figure bracket.
It's much harder this time around. The matchups:
* No. 1 seed Roger Staubach vs. No. 9 Michael Irvin
* No. 4 Tom Landry vs. No. 5 Dirk Nowitzki
* No. 2 Emmitt Smith vs. No. 7 Mike Modano
* No. 3 Troy Aikman vs. No. 6 Nolan Ryan.
Choose wisely by voting here through Sunday. And join the discussion afterward.
Dallas Stars sure-fire Hall of Famer Mike Modano, whose charity is a beneficiary of the event, will be there. Cowboys stars DeMarcus Ware and Bradie James will take the field. So will former Cowboys greats Drew Pearson and Everson Walls, as well as a variety of big- and small-screen actors.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban and team president Donnie Nelson will also be there. Cuban, however, will leave his glove at home. He's on the shelf, rehabbing a torn rotator cuff (no surgery as of yet). Cuban will stay busy though, hanging in the stands with his newest best friend, the Larry O'Brien NBA championship trophy, and posing for pictures with fans.
So what's missing?
How about Cuban's world champs?
For the first time in at least the last five years of the Heroes game, no Dallas Mavericks players will participate. It's not official, but it certainly appears that the reason comes down to one nasty word: lockout.
The NBA forbids team executives and coaches from talking to players during the lockout, which took effect last Thursday night. For that reason, it appears, no Mavs players are on the roster with Cuban and Nelson out there (and possibly a David Stern spy drone flying overhead).
Last year, Jason Kidd played. James Singleton represented in 2009 with Jason Terry doing the honors in 2008 and Devin Harris in 2007. In 2006, Terry, Jerry Stackhouse and Marquis Daniels all hit the diamond.
Would the NBA really frown on Mavs players mingling with team brass at such a fan-friendly charity event? Well, it's hard to say. An NBA spokesman said he didn't know enough about the event to make a call. He did, however, mention that there are exceptions. For instance, Cuban and the Mavs will be together for the ESPY Awards in Los Angeles.
Miami Heat coaches were given the green light to attend Chris Bosh's wedding.
It would seem Cuban, Nelson and any Mavs players could play ball for charity without violating any lockout codes of silence.
But then, sillier things have happened.
So if you're headed to the game, congratulate Nelson on all his right roster moves, applaud Cuban for his postseason composure and encourage him to fight through his rotator cuff rehab. Take a picture with the trophy.
But barring a last-minute change, don't expect to get a glimpse of the world champs.
Joining the famous faces of Mike Modano, Mark Cuban, Bradie James, DeMarcus Ware, Donnie Nelson, Everson Walls, Jason Witten and Dave Annabel, among others, will be none other than the Larry O'Brien Trophy, the NBA's championship trophy won by the 2011 Dallas Mavericks. In lieu of playing in the game, the trophy will stick around and pose with fans for pictures.
Tickets are $5, $7, $12 and $15 and are on sale at Ticketmaster.com (1-800-745-3000) or at the Dr Pepper Ballpark Box Office during office hours. Will call will open at 10 a.m. on July 9. Tickets also will be available at the door.
Money raised from the game will benefit the children's charities of The Heroes Foundation and The Mike Modano Foundation.
The private event to commemorate Nowitzki’s 33rd birthday -- dubbed “Dinner For 41” -- featured exactly 41 guests, including Mavericks teammate Brian Cardinal, Mavs president of basketball operations Donnie Nelson and various team staffers and close friends. Also in attendance were former Stanley Cup-winning Dallas Star Mike Modano and three award-winning scientists who are also Mavs fans.
As part of the evening’s program, Nowitzki was presented with a Larry O’Brien championship trophy cake and treated to performances from a Dallas Symphony Orchestra string quartet (Christopher Adkins, Diane Kitzman, Gary Levinson and Ellen Rose) as well as Dallas-based comedian Paul Varghese.
Special guests included Dr. Hans Deisendorfer, professor of biochemistry at UT Southwestern who won a Nobel Prize in chemistry in 1988 for his work in X-ray crystallography; Dr. Al Gilman, chairman emeritus of pharmacology at UT Southwestern who won a Nobel Prize in medicine in 1994 for his work on how cells communicate with each other; and Dr. Eric Olson, professor and chairman of molecular biology at UT Southwestern who won the LeFoulon Delalande Grand Prize from the French Academy of Science in 2009.
“Dirk was definitely surprised,” said Brian Dameris, one of the attendees and a former Mavs employee. “It was the perfect ending to the best week of his life.”
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett at Mavericks media day to discuss his expectations for the upcoming season.
Play Podcast Mark Cuban joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Mavericks' new GM Gersson Rosas and much more.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mark Cuban's comments from Las Vegas about the Mavericks' offseason, how he sees the team without Dwight Howard and more.
Play Podcast Marc Stein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why the Mavericks didn't want to match Cleveland's offer to Andrew Bynum, what's next for the Mavs and the possibility of Dirk Nowitzki ending his career elsewhere.
Play Podcast Jeff Platt fires quick-hitters at Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon in the weekly sports standoff about Andrew Bynum, the Mavs' current backcourt, a potential Nelson Cruz suspension and more.
Play Podcast ESPN Los Angeles' Ramona Shelburne joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why she thinks Andrew Bynum got a bad rap in Los Angeles and how he would fit in with the Mavericks.
Play Podcast Buy, sell or hold? If Dwight Howard goes to another team, what are the Mavs' options? The guys take a look at a list of potential fallback options.
Play Podcast ESPN's Marc Stein joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the latest news on the Mavericks' meeting with Dwight Howard.