Nowitzki alone atop skeleton roster

Jason Kidd's departure the final insult in Mavericks' free-agency disaster

Updated: July 15, 2012, 11:48 PM ET
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com

Dirk Nowitzki knew luring the big fish home wasn't guaranteed, but he put all his eggs, so to speak, in his owner's game plan -- trusted it when maybe he didn't even fully believe in it -- to strike a bold, new path for Dallas Mavericks basketball through the superstar's twilight seasons and beyond.

From Saturday night as the host of a smashingly successful charity baseball game in North Texas, where the wildly cheered 7-footer stroked a single to left-center, to his courtside seat days ...

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