Mark Cuban gives Dirk Nowitzki permission to play in EuroBasket 2015


Dirk Nowitzki wants the German basketball team in the 2016 Olympics.

How badly?

That’s in his hands.

The Mavericks forward turns 37 next summer, but he has the go-ahead to compete in EuroBasket 2015, an opportunity for Germany to qualify for the 2016 Olympics., via Google translate:

Mark Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, has Dirk Nowitzki given approval for participation in the European Basketball Championships in Berlin in 2015. On a question from the SPORT BILD (Wednesday edition), whether Cuban Nowitzki leave play at the European Championships next year, he answered: "Yes.”

Cuban had no choice. Unless Nowitzki were facing a pre-existing injury, the NBA-FIBA agreement prevents the Mavericks owner from barring Nowitzki.

We’ll see whether Cuban, a well-established critic of the NBA’s relationship with international basketball, maintains that stance next summer. Any minor injury Nowitzki suffers could give Cuban ammo to change course.

That said, Cuban has a lot of respect for Nowitzki, and I think/hope he’d do right by his star player. If Nowitzki wants to play for Germany – which is no guarantee, by the way – he should have the right to do so.