Dirk Takes Questions on Ex-Fiancee, Upcoming Season

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    Dirk Nowitzki says he's ready to get back to work.

    Dirk Nowitzki, looking tanned and rested, fielded questions on the upcoming season and, you guessed it, Cristal Taylor, during the team's annual pre-camp coming out for the news media.

    Even more important than dishing on Taylor, the Mavs' forward smiled a lot with his teammates as he posed for photos and spoke cheerfully with reporters.

    The 31-year-old shaggy, blond German star said, "I think I am looking forward to camp more than I usually do."

    It's a far cry from the terse, serious Dirk of last season's NBA playoffs, which were marred by the May 6 arrest of Taylor, his former fiancee, at his Dallas home.

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    Dirk Nowitzki says it's "best for everybody involved" that his former fiancee is not pregnant.

    Nowitzki said basketball helped him cope.

    "It wasn't easy for sure; all you think about is the one thing," he said. "But I think more than anything, basketball was almost a little bit of an escape. You know, for an hour and a half, two hours a day, I could do what I love to do."

    Taylor had claimed she was pregnant with Nowitzki's child, but Nowitzki's attorney disclosed early this month that prison records showed she wasn't pregnant.

    "I think that with a kid, it would have been a tough situation to handle, but I'm sure I would have made it somehow," Nowitzki said. "But now this way, I think it's the best for everybody involved. And I look forward to (moving) on and finally concentrating on basketball again and just doing the things that I love to do."

    The 38-year-old Taylor is now serving a four-year prison sentence in Missouri for violating her probation on a forgery and theft conviction.

    As for Nowitzki, he said he's ready to move on now that summer is over.

    "Four months is a long time to spend at home, but (I) definitely needed the summer, but now I'm also ready to get it going again and kind of start playing basketball again and start getting my private life out of the media again," he said.