Dirk Nowitzki keeps options open

Updated: October 22, 2011, 11:55 PM ET
By Jeff Caplan | ESPNDallas.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Dallas Mavericks forward and NBA Finals MVP Dirk Nowitzki said if the lockout remains in a stalemate he will have no choice but to explore playing options overseas.

Nowitzki threw out the first pitch before Saturday night's Game 3 of the World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark. Decked out in a blue Rangers cap and blue Rangers jersey with the No. 41 and Nowitzki on the back, the 7-footer made his second appearance to throw out the ceremonial first pitch since bringing North Texas its first NBA championship in June.

Nowitzki, who returned to the Dallas area a couple of weeks ago, said he's taken time off since the end of the European Championships in early September. He plans to return home to Germany in a couple of weeks and will soon after resume his workout regiment with personal coach Holger Geschwinder.

He referred to this week's marathon labor negotiations with federal arbiter George Cohen ending with no agreement and no further meetings set as very disappointing.

"We were all hoping that with the mediator something was going to happen," he said. "Just talks broke off, so it's very unfortunate. We'll see. Hopefully we can get something going here any time soon, but it doesn't look good."

Nowitzki has had offers to play overseas, including from teams in his home country, which he has turned down.

"If there is no settlement, I'll go back home any time soon and probably start training with my coach again and really get back in the routine," he said. "And then you've got to keep your options open, maybe see what's going on overseas.

"If the lockout still stays strong then I've definitely got to look into something there in January, February."

Nowitzki was also still wearing a splint on the left middle finger that he injured in Game 1 of the NBA Finals. He said he took a ball off the finger during the European championships and that it was "sagging."

He said he did not need surgery and he will wear the splint for a few more weeks.

Nowitzki had a blast throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 3 of the World Series, firing a low fastball into the glove of the Rangers captain Michael Young.

"I looked him off twice, spat, spat; I had to spit," Nowitzki said, smiling, when watching a replay of himself on the television broadcast.

"We've been here for a long time and he's (Young) trying to win the whole thing like I did, and finally I reached my dream," Nowitzki said. "So, hopefully he can do the same thing this year."

Jeff Caplan covers the Mavericks for ESPNDallas.com.

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