He’s no John Calipari, but is Dirk Nowitzki enough of a recruiter — is the chance to play with him enough of a draw — that elite free agents will come to Dallas to play and win with him?
Mark Cuban is counting on it.
This summer — and likely next summer — Dallas is going to be courting free agents and Cuban told the Dallas Morning News Nowitzki will be part of the effort.
“Yeah, obviously,” Cuban said. “He hasn’t been shy to make calls in the past. He just hasn’t been in the country. He’s happy to text and make calls. He just hasn’t been here. Dirk will do anything. He’s a team player from top to bottom.”
What is the first factor in attracting a free agent? Money. It’s also the second and third most important things. Dallas will have cap space to offer a max deal if they find a player they like, so that is not a problem.
After money come the other issues such as weather, state taxes, if the team/city have a good reputation among players, roster makeup and playing time, and is the team a contender. What order those go in and how much they weigh depends on the player and the stage of his career.
It’s on those issues that having a player call and do some recruiting helps. Cuban had a great line about that.
So is Nowitzki a persuasive sort of guy?
“He got somebody much hotter than him to marry him,” Cuban quipped.
Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.
There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.
Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.
“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”
Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.
Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.
That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.
And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.
MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.
Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.
Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.
Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.
Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.