[REAL VERSION] London 2012

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Dirk Fondly Remembers Beijing Olympics

Mavs star says carrying Germany's flag in Opening Ceremony one of his proudest moments

By Meredith Land
|  Thursday, Aug 2, 2012  |  Updated 7:32 PM CDT
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Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki reflects on his arrival in Dallas, his trip to the Olympics and looks to the future.

Meredith Land, NBC 5 News

Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki reflects on his arrival in Dallas, his trip to the Olympics and looks to the future.

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The face of the Dallas Mavericks says his trip to the Olympics was one of his finest moments.

And at 34 years old, 7 feet tall and one NBA championship under his belt, Dirk Nowitzki has a lot to be proud of.

Out of season, Nowitzki is candid, especially when asked about carrying Germany's flag in the Beijing Olympics.

"That was probably one of my proudest moments of my life that day, leading my nation into the stadium -- 80 to 90,000 people in the stadium. I remember walking in there, and everything was a blur," Nowitzki said in a rare, sit-down interview on the Mavericks practice court.

His German team finished 10th, but just being in the Olympic Village made the trip, he said.

"The life, to me, in the village was unbelievable," he said. "You can sit and have lunch with your team and sit next to a Chinese wrestler or a Portuguese runner. It was just an unbelievable experience. I made it to beach volleyball one day, that was fun."

Dallas hasn't been a bad ride, either. Nowitzki got here when he was 20 years old. Now, his face graces almost everything Dallas Mavericks.

"It's been a crazy ride, to be honest," he said. "At the beginning when I got here, nobody knew my name. I was like, 'this big around' and barely spoke English."

Fast forward to 2011, when the Mavericks won the NBA championship.

"I mean, I would love to get another one -- don't get me wrong, that's why we are trying to bring some players in here," he said.

How long will Nowitzki play?

"To me, basketball -- I never looked at it as a job," he said. "It was fun, something I loved to do, so when I get older and have to drag myself out of bed, I don't think that's going to be my way to go."

Notoriously private, Nowitzki shies away from talk about his love life and his rumored pending wedding.

When asked if he has a big event coming up, he replied, "Uh, I am thinking. No. No, can't think of anything."

When pressed further about, he laughed and said, "No, I wouldn't know what you're talking about."

But Nowitzki has spoken pretty openly about wanting a family.

"Yeah, that's definitely coming," he said. "I think I am great with kids, and I think that's definitely something that is post-career. I always said I wanted a family of my own, so that's definitely in the plans afterwards."

Nowitzki still has two more seasons under contract with the Mavs. He said Dallas is home, but he doesn't know what the future holds.

"I've been here so long, I won't just leave here for good," he said. "I will probably part-time be here. Maybe Cuban will give me a job or something."

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