Dirk Nowitzki Thinking of Sitting Out the All-Star Game?
With the goal being to be as healthy as possible come Playoff time, Nowitzki wouldn’t mind not making the trip to L.A next month. From ESPN: “The face of the Dallas Mavericks’ franchise is in the midst of what might be the most efficient offensive season of his surefire Hall of Fame career. He deserved mention as an MVP frontrunner before suffering a sprained right knee … and the Mavs’ miserable performance in nine games without him arguably made his case even stronger. It’s just that everybody would be better off if Nowitzki’s streak of All-Star Games ended this season. The league could use the roster spot to showcase some of the spectacular young talent filling up box scores and creating buzz in the Western Conference. And Nowitzki needs the rest. It’d be different if Nowitzki, the NBA’s 10th-leading scorer at 23.4 points per game, needed his ego massaged by making his 10th consecutive All-Star appearance. That’s not the case. It doesn’t sound like it’d bother him a bit if the West coaches vote for rising stars such as the Clippers’ Blake Griffin, Timberwolves’ Kevin Love and Trail Blazers’ LaMarcus Aldridge and leave him watching from the couch. ‘You want to be healthy for the real games, but representing the Mavericks has always been important to me and to the fans in Dallas, so it is a little bit of both,’ said Nowitzki, whose ground-bound, fundamentally sound game isn’t really suited for the All-Star stage anyway. ‘If I’m not 100 percent, then I probably shouldn’t be out there.’ Nowitzki mentioned that there is still a long time to go before the Feb. 20 game at Staples Center, but the coaches vote for reserves next week. His health issues give them an excuse to leave him out of the West’s loaded frontcourt rotation.”