Hindsight being 20/20, Dirk Nowitzki says now that he shouldn’t have played for Germany this summer, following a grueling run to his first NBA championship. From ESPN: “Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki will sit out the next four games to engage in a week of behind-the-scenes conditioning work to strengthen his sore right knee starting with Saturday’s visit to the New Orleans Hornets, coach Rick Carlisle announced. Carlisle said Nowitzki needs ‘an uninterrupted eight days of work to resolve some physical issues and conditioning issues.’ He emphasized that the break is designed to help Nowitzki, who is expected to return Jan. 29 against San Antonio, get into better game shape. […] Nowitzki, historically one of the most regimented workers in the league, has not shied away from the fact that he is not in typical game condition. On Wednesday, he said a combination of last season’s run to the championship, followed by playing for Germany in the Olympic qualifying tournament in late summer and then a long layoff are at the root of his knee problem. ‘It’s just getting back in the groove,’ Nowitzki said. ‘We didn’t have the training camp that we wanted to. After the Euros [the Olympic qualifying tournament last summer] I was just sick of basketball, but I probably took too long of a time off, so it’s going to take me a while to get back into it. But, [his knee’s] a lot better than it was three weeks ago, so that’s encouraging and we’ll keep on working … Playing in the Euros, looking back now was obviously not the right decision, but it was a decision I made for my country,’ Nowitzki said. ‘But it definitely didn’t help me get ready for the season. So I started working out basically late November, then I had a good three weeks or a month for five, six games a week, so it wasn’t cutting it. I consider this week here, for me, as another week of training camp where I can use it and get better. Got a little fire back; a lot of guys say I’m done. I obviously read the stuff. Hopefully, I’ll be back soon.'”
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