Dirk Nowitzki Disputes Claims That He Began the Season Out of Shape

by January 27, 2012
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Prompted by his coach and management, Dirk Nowitzki took a break from playing in NBA games to get his body right, which led some in the local media to publish some outlandish claims about his conditioning and overall dedication (or lack thereof.) Nowitkzi was given a chance to respond. From the Star-Telegram: “Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki says he is much better after missing the past three games because of a sore right knee and poor conditioning. However, he will not play against the Utah Jazz tonight and there is no guarantee he will return Sunday against the San Antonio Spurs as originally expected. ‘I feel better,’ Nowitzki said. ‘I think it was definitely a good week for me to work on some stuff that I wasn’t able to work on when I had some trouble with my knee. So that’s definitely good. We lifted a lot, ran some, shot some. Well, we were always shooting for Sunday, so we’ll just take it day by day and see how these next two days of training go and keep pushing myself, twice a day. But that’s where my head is, hopefully Sunday, and we’ll go from there.’ Nowitzki said he can do without questions about him coming into the season out of shape, as coach Rick Carlisle and owner Mark Cuban suggested as reasons for his early-season woes and the team’s decision to shut him down for a week. ‘No, I don’t know why coach threw that out there,’ Nowitzki bristled when asked about his conditioning. ‘I didn’t have any problem with conditioning at all. You can never work hard enough on conditioning, but that wasn’t holding me back.’ Asked if he was disappointed that Carlisle ‘threw that out there,’ Nowitzki said, ‘No, not at all. I don’t really care what the media writes, anyway. You saw on my jump shot I had no lift, shot most of them straight-legged. Had no air time. This week I really focused on getting my legs under my shot again and bending down and getting low and getting the right base.’ […] ‘It was what I said last Saturday, which was just some physical issues that needed to be resolved,’ Carlisle said. ‘Physical, like the body. The knee was a part of it. Conditioning’s part of it.’”