Mike Modano left. He finished his career as a Detroit Red Wing.
Emmitt Smith left. He ended his career playing for the Arizona Cardinals.
Pudge Rodriguez left. He won a World Series with the Marlins and played in another with Detroit before ending his career as a Washington National.
Dirk Nowitzki has the option to leave…again.
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The greatest player in Mavericks history opted out of his contract and will be a free agent July 1.
Will he leave despite saying he wants to come back? If Nowitzki does, I won’t blame him one bit.
The Golden State Warriors want to have a conversation with him about joining their club if they can not convince Kevin Durant to leave Oklahoma City for the Bay Area according to Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News. That’s smart on the Warriors part. Nowitzki would fit like a glove in that Warriors offense.
Dallas hasn’t won a playoff series since winning the NBA title over LeBron James and the Miami Heat in June 2011. Mavs owner Mark Cuban keeps trying to lure free agents but he has failed to deliver a superstar player via free agency to play alongside the future Hall of Famer.
The tall baller from Germany has said he wants to remain a Maverick as long as Cuban isn’t going into rebuild mode, see Kobe’s last years in Los Angeles.
Here’s the question: After five years of striking out on top free agent talent, what if Cuban can’t cash in this summer?
Forget loyalty. If Nowitzki wants another ring, he has a better chance going with the Warriors who have been to The Finals the last two seasons and boasts a roster much better than anything Nowitzki has been able to play with in Dallas since his title season.
As a big man, having a solid point guard is a must. Since winning the title, the Mavericks have been a revolving door when it comes to having people get Dirk the rock.
This is the list of top assist men Dallas has employed since that championship season:
- 2011-12 Jason Kidd 264 assists & Jason Terry 226 assists
- 2012-13 Darren Collison 415 assist & OJ Mayo 361 assists
- 2013-14 Monta Ellis 471 & Jose Calderon 377 assists
- 2014-15 Monta Ellis 302 & Rajon Rondo 301 assists
- 2015-16 Deron Williams 378 assists & JJ Barea 302 assists
Talk about inconsistent.
Did I mention Williams can be a free agent this summer?
Bringing back Chandler Parsons isn’t “THE” signing that should make Nowitzki sign on for two or three more seasons of Mavericks basketball. They need upgrades at point guard and a center position.
By opting out of his deal, Nowitzki has the hammer to get Cuban and general manager Donnie Nelson to make the kinds of moves he wants to see for a better roster. The organization is smart enough to realize Nowitzki is THE draw for fans coming to the American Airlines Center to see the Mavericks.
Since 1998, Dallas has been able to see the 7-footer play hoops and become the sixth leading scorer in the history of the NBA with 29,491 points. Modano, Emmitt and Pudge were all playing in DFW that year. They left.
If Nowitzki becomes the next DFW sports legend to leave and end his Hall of Fame career in another city, I will understand and so should the fan base.