The Mavericks’ star has a history of being candid in his interviews, so it shouldn’t exactly come as a huge shock that he was brutally honest when recently approached by a German hoops publication.
Nowitzki talked about his career as a Mav, the frustration that comes with playing on the same team as Shawn Bradley, and the possibility of leaving Dallas for Europe. From Five Magazine (via: True Hoop):
There are awesome players who have never won a ring. And people say: “He was great, but he never led his team to a title.” I don’t want people to say that about me. It’s no secret that not every NBA player prepares so hard in the summer. How do you deal with it when a teammate does not invest as much time and sweat as you during the summer for the common goal? … The best example was Shawn Bradley. He would some times come to training camp and not had a ball in his hands for four months.
Of course it would be more exciting to [win a championship] in Dallas and being the franchise player. The best thing would be me carrying the team to the title. But the other teams have gotten so strong, also through some unfair trades – Pau Gasol to Los Angeles and Kevin Garnett to Boston. Maybe I will see if it helps changing teams in like three years. Maybe it won’t be fun any more or I can’t keep up with the athleticism anymore. Maybe I will play in Europe again. I can imagine all of that.
What Karl Malone did back then – heading to L.A. after all those years in Utah – yeah it was a little questionable. But when you want the championship so bad, then you can’t rule out a move like that.
The soon-to-be 31 year old is still putting up great numbers, but with his Mavs going nowhere fast, one can’t help but wonder just how much longer he can remain the proverbial “man” on a squad. Dirk himself is surely wondering.