Dirk Nowitzki wants the German basketball team in the 2016 Olympics.
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.
SportBilde.de, 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.