Dirk Nowitzki May Play for Germany Again to Make Olympics

by September 10, 2013

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban certainly won’t be happy to hear this. Dirk Nowitzki says he’d consider suiting up for Germany if they have a shot at qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil (when he’ll be 38 years old.) Per ESPN: “If I’m still healthy enough and we have a chance to qualify, then I’d consider it,’ Nowitzki said late Monday. Nowitzki was responding to statements made earlier Monday by Germany coach Frank Menz, who said after Germany’s elimination from the EuroBasket tournament in Slovenia that the face of the Dallas Mavericks has left open the possibility of a national-team return if the squad continues to progress. Germany failed to advance past the group stage of this month’s EuroBasket but turned heads with an upset of heavily favored France in its Group A opener. The Germans also prevented Israel from advancing out of the group with a narrow win in Monday’s Group A finale despite playing without Nowitzki, NBA veteran center Chris Kaman and Atlanta Hawks rookie guard Dennis Schroeder. Nowitzki, to this day, regards qualification for the 2008 Olympics in Beijing — with Kaman’s assistance — as an achievement on par with the NBA championship he won in Dallas in 2011. It’s Menz’s belief that adding the likes of Nowitzki and Schroeder to the promising cast of unheralded shooters Germany has assembled would put the Germans back in Olympic contention. ‘The boys looked great in that France game,’ Nowitzki said. ‘They had great phases and rough stretches after that, but it was hard for a young team to come back after an emotional win and play at a high level. That’s normal for a young team.’ Benz said: ‘[Nowitzki] wants all the younger players to one day have a chance to play at an Olympic Games. He had that experience. He said: ‘But that’s 2016. I have three more NBA seasons [until then].’ And he’s not the youngest player. He has a family now. So we’ll see. But he’s always in touch. He follows what we do. He has a chance and — if we have a good team — we might see.'”