UPDATE 11:36 pm: Dirk Nowitzki spoke to the media and said no surgery planned. Yet. Here’s the money Dirk quote from Mike Fisher at Dallasbasketball.com:
“I’m doing everything I can not to have surgery,” Nowitzki said, stressing his wish to be “conservative.” “I guess that’s obvious that I really don’t want it done now. If I want to do it, I would love to do it after the season, get through the season somehow.”
Does it feel like he is postponing the inevitable to anyone else? I get he did it last year and his knee came around, but this year it feels different. We’ll see, but the Mavs will be in a fight to miss the playoffs in a deep West this season and the longer he is out the smaller their margin for error.
10:39 pm: Dirk Nowitzki didn’t play Monday night. Which during the preseason and him battling sore knee is not really surprising.
But Nowitzki is a guy who has had his knee drained twice since training camp started and is contemplating surgery. Then before the game Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said this (via the Dallas Morning News):
“Dirk’s not playing tonight. He’ll talk to you after the game. Next subject.’’
Carlisle then went through the whole “don’t jump to conclusions” thing but pretty much everyone is jumping there in their heads already. (PBT will bring you what Nowitzki says after the game.)
Pretty soon reporters were asking Carlisle what he would do without Nowitzki for a period of time.
“That’s a question that there’s a lot of different ways we could go with that,’’ he said. “First of all, I’d say let’s not make that assumption necessarily. And there’s a lot of different things we can do. But tonight, it’s premature for that conversation.’’
Is it? Will it still be premature in 24 hours?
In the NBA, elite players have the leverage. It is just simple supply and demand.
DeMarcus Cousins is an elite player — and a favorite of owner Vivek Ranadive. He is not going anywhere.
Which made this summer’s “George Karl wants trade Cousins” a battle the coach couldn’t ultimately win — the owner wasn’t going to sign off on it, and the fans are going to side with Boogie. Remember Karl said he never had a player that was untradable, and that spiraled into reports Karl probed trade options with other teams, much to the frustration of management and Cousins himself.
Karl owned up to some of his mistakes in an interview on Comcast Bay Area, as reported by James Ham at CSNBayArea.com.
“To be honest with you, I apologized to DeMarcus for making the trade comment that I’ve never coached a player that’s untradeable,” Karl told Christensen. “That was wrong for me to say, because you all (the media) took it and blew it up into crazy.”
“But it’s my responsibility to be smart enough to not say things like that,” Karl continued. “So I did apologize because I thought that was the only thing, maybe some other things, but really the only thing that got us separated was that comment that then everybody wrote the we’re going to trade [Cousins].”
The relationship between Cousins and Karl — not to mention Rajon Rondo and other veterans — is the biggest key to the Kings’ season. Karl and Cousins say their relationship is solid now, but what happens when that is put under stress at some point during the season?
In talking to people around the team, the Kings players seemed to have formed a tight bond — even if part of the glue of that bond is a distrust of Karl that can work for them. This is a team that has the talent to compete for the bottom couple playoff seeds in the Western Conference, but everybody needs to be pulling on the rope in the same direction. We will see pretty quickly if the Kings can do that.
I’m a fan of the Pistons’ alternate uniforms in general — their “Motor City” ones may be may favorite alternates around the league.
Now they have a new one — Detroit Chrome.
The Pistons will break these out for seven home games this season. From the official release:
The inspiration for the Detroit Chrome jerseys came about as a way to honor our coolest cars from the past and the cars of the future. Detroit is universally known as the auto capital of the world, where chrome leaves an indelible mark on the cars we create. The uniforms feature a matte chrome base color with clean simple lines inspired by the classic muscle cars that have roared up and down Woodward Avenue for decades. The navy trim and Detroit emblazoned across the chest represent the blue collar work ethic that the auto industry and region was built on.
Clean, simple, cool — I like it.
That would look good in the first round of the playoffs, too. (I’m predicting they get the eight seed.)