Dirk Nowitzki is tired. Not to go all Lili Von Shtupp on you, but he’s tired of being admired; tired of love uninspired; let’s face it, he’s tired.
After a run all the way to the NBA championships he partied all over the globe, then after a short break there was a few weeks of private workouts with his longtime shooting coach Holger Geschwindner, then he went to Germany to train and play with the national team in EuroBasket.
Nowitzki told ESPN’s Marc Stein that since Germany was eliminated early from EuroBasket — a loss that knocked them out of any spots in next year’s Olympics — he is taking some time off and will not sign with any overseas teams until November, if the lockout lasts that long.
“I’m going to get away for a little bit and get some well-deserved rest that I didn’t get before,” Nowitzki said, referring to the whirlwind existence during and immediately after the Mavericks’ long playoff run to their first-ever championship. “That’s my plan….
“Let’s see where the lockout is in a few weeks and then we’ll have something to talk about,” Nowitzki said of finding temporary employment abroads.
(Yes, I know that quote doesn’t say November, but it is used elsewhere in the article.)
If Nowitzki does play overseas, he likely would sign with German powerhouse Bayern Munich. But we don’t have to worry about that for a while. For now, Nowitzki is recharging the batteries.
Tony Parker revealed a plan nearly two years ago to play until he’s 38.
Coming off his worst season since his rookie year, the Spurs point guard is sticking to that goal.
Parker, via Marc J. Spears of Yahoo Sports:
“The Spurs know I want to play until I’m 38,” Parker told Yahoo Sports in a recent phone interview. “That will be 20 seasons for me. That’s my goal. This year is No. 15. And if I’m lucky enough and I’m healthy, hopefully I can play 20 seasons and then I’ll be ready to retire.”
That seems pretty ambitious, no matter how you handle the conflicting math. (Parker is 33. If he plays 20 seasons, he’ll spend most of his final season at age 39 and turn 40 during the playoffs.)
Parker is already showing signs of slippage. Many of his key numbers were down last season, including ESPN’s real-plus minus, where he quietly slipped from 12th to 67th among point guards.
But Gregg Popovich is very liberal with resting his players, and Parker won’t have to carry too much of the load. Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili will probably retire before Parker, but the Spurs will still have Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.
I wouldn’t count on it, but it’s possible Parker lasts that long.
The Pelicans starting center, Omer Asik, is injured.
Their backup center, Alexis Ajinca, is injured.
Enter Greg Smith.
Scott Kushner of The Advocate:
Smith was part of the Rockets’ 2012-13 rotation, but otherwise, he has seen limited minutes in his four-year career with Houston and Dallas. In that small sample, he has looked alright. The 6-foot-10 24-year-old uses his big frame and massive hands to catch passes and finish efficiently near the rim. He has also become more disciplined defensively.
I wouldn’t be surprised if he makes the regular-season roster behind the 13 Pelicans with guaranteed salaries.
But it’s also possible New Orleans signed him just an extra preseason body. That’d beat relying too heavily on the aging Kendrick Perkins and undersized Jeff Adrien at center. Anthony Davis is the Pelicans’ best option at center with Asik and Ajinca sidelined (and maybe even with them healthy), but the biggest drawback to playing him there is the injury risk. If Davis is going to deal with the banging at center, might as well save it for games that count.
Still, even New Orleans plans to keep Smith only through the preseason, this at least gives him a chance to impress.