Author: Matt Moore

Mavericks apparently had a “players on expiring contracts” issue last year


At the end of the piece we brought you yesterday from the Dallas Morning Newsabout how Dirk Nowitzki’s feeling good, feeling great, ready, ready to celebrate, there was an interesting little stick at the end.

Nowitzki also made it clear that he is in no mood this season to hear about players who are on the last year of their contract or feel like they are headed for another destination in the off-season. That mentality crept into the minds of some players last season.

“We are all professionals, and I expect everyone to play at a high level and give it their best no matter what their contract situation is,” Nowitzki said. “It is an honor to represent the Mavericks and that is how we will approach it.”

via Dirk Nowitzki excited about Mavericks’ overhaul, says knee is good to go | Dallas Mavericks Blog.

So that’s a not-so-subtle shot at former teammates who were running up the whine tab last year trying to get contracts they didn’t end up getting. Jason Terry’s a reasonable suspect here, as he talked quite a bit about where he might go in the offseason, including Miami, something that had to tweak Mark Cuban if he read it. But that would be pretty shocking considering how much Terry was valued in the locker room. Jason Kidd also spoke on record about the situation, but never made any sort of disruptive claims. Whoever was upset last year at least kept it in house.

But you can’t really blame them. The Mavericks had several guys looking for their last payday of their careers. These things do take a toll, especially after watching Cuban let Tyson Chandler and Jose Juan Barea walk just months before.

Well at least it won’t be a problem for a whi… oh, wait. Five players have expiring contracts this season and have eleven players whose contracts expire between now and July 1 of 2014. It’s part of the business. Dirk can hope things will be different and with a different crew, it might be. But as long as Cuban values flexibility (as well he should) this is going to be a side-effect.


Keyon Dooling denies Heat rumors, says he’s done with the league

Boston Celtics' Dooling celebrates a teammate's basket against the Miami Heat during Game 3 of their Eastern Conference Finals NBA basketball playoffs in Boston

So Keyon Dooling retired last week, and it seemed weird and sudden. Then, almost immediately, reports surfaced that Dooling was going to join the Miami Heat.

Now, Dooling has issued a denial of those reports to Fox Sports Florida, (hopefully) ending one of the most irrelevant sagas of the late offseason:

So much for Keyon Dooling wanting to join the Miami Heat.

The Orlando Sentinel reported Saturday that, word was, the point guard — waived by Boston on Friday with the belief he would retire —  had interest in the Heat. But the native of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., denied that.

“No truth!” Dooling wrote in an email to FOX Sports Florida. “I will never play NBA ball again.”

via Dooling confirms retirement, no interest in Heat.

So Keyon Dooling will not be bringing his lack of playmaking and erratic three-point shot to the Heat. Maybe. Look, we’ve seen this before. Guy says “No way, I’m done!” and then later is like “Oh, wait, I love money so, so, so, so, so much.”

Happens every year. And with the prospect of being able to sit out training camp and contend for a title on the table, don’t rule anything out just because Dooling’s willing to walk away right now.

But at least we can move on. The world can exhale.

After a rough year physically, Dirk Nowitzki is “good to go”

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) reacts after hitting a three point shot during the second half of their NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz  in Salt Lake City, Utah

Dirk Nowitzki’s training and conditioning were all screwed up by the lockout last year. Understandably, after  finally accomplishing the dream of winning the title, Nowitzki, along with the rest of the Mavs, enjoyed their offseason. The uncertainty of the lockout lead to a lack of training and so when the season started, Nowitzki was not prepped for the season, hadn’t gone through his usual routines.

Throw in a knee problem, and you had all the issues last year. He had a mid-season boot camp to try and get right physically, but it never  really got back on track. With a normal offseason, though, Nowitzki says that physically, he’s in position to get back to being Dirk.

Second, and more important, Nowitzki feels wonderful physically. His right knee that gave him such trouble during the first half of the shortened season in 2011-12 no longer is a concern to him.

That’s huge.

“I tried to keep in shape all summer long so that it would not be hard to pick up my usual training routine,” Nowitzki said in an email interview. “I feel great. My knees feel fine, and that’s important. I am ready to go.”

via Dirk Nowitzki excited about Mavericks’ overhaul, says knee is good to go | Dallas Mavericks Blog.

That’s great news for Mavericks fans. With a younger roster that will need time to gel, and players who have uncertainties about how they will react in new roles, the team will rely on Nowitzki as much if not more than ever. But most importantly, it looks like we’ll get the real Dirk Nowitzki back, and that’s a win for everyone, except whoever he’s playing that night.