Posts Tagged ‘Dallas Mavericks’

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Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki may not be ready to call it quits just yet, despite being celebrated on a nightly basis as if he’s on his farewell tour.

Nowitzki says he’s undecided about retirement, and an opportunity to play alongside the young duo of Luka Doncic and Kristaps Porzingis next year could be tempting.

“I think I’m going to make that decision later on, but I think the future’s bright. I think Luka and KP, if they stay healthy, stay together, they should be a great combo,” the 40-year-old said after the Mavericks’ 110-101 win over the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon. “They should play great off each other. Both have an incredible skill set for their size, incredible playmaking ability for their size.”

“I’d love to be there for the young guys one more year, but I think it depends on how the body feels,” he added. “I’ve had some issues, obviously, this year. I had some knee swelling here the last few weeks, actually before the All-Star break, so it’s not all great.”

Unlike Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade, Nowitzki didn’t say the 2018-19 season is the grand finale of his prestigious career. However, it didn’t seem like the 7-footer could still produce at a high level after his season debut was pushed to mid-December because of an ankle injury.

Fortunately for the German big man, he’s now healthy enough to play extra minutes. Nowitzki has even earned a starting spot over the last three games, averaging 12.7 points and four rebounds during that stretch.

“I feel like I have a little more pep in my step,” he said. “My legs and my wind are a lot better than (earlier in the season). I just feel better overall. I feel like I can actually contribute, whereas earlier I was struggling just to get up and down.”

Nowitzki needs just 69 points to pass Wilt Chamberlain for sixth all time in career points.

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The New York Knicks have agreed to trade Kristaps Porzingis to the Dallas Mavericks in exchange for Dennis Smith Jr., DeAndre Jordan, and Wesley Matthews, sources told the New York Times’ Marc Stein.

The Mavericks will also receive Tim Hardaway Jr., Courtney Lee, and Trey Burke in the deal, and will likely send a first-round pick to New York, sources told The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The blockbuster trade developed out of nowhere Thursday afternoon, shortly after reports indicated that Porzingis had met with Knicks management to raise concerns about the franchise’s direction.

The 23-year-old was drafted by the Knicks with the No. 4 pick of the 2015 draft, and looked at times like a franchise player. But by trading him and adding the expiring contracts of Jordan and Matthews, New York could have up to $74 million in salary-cap space this coming summer – enough room for two max contracts.

Meanwhile, Smith will move to the Knicks after reports of discord between him and Mavs coach Rick Carlisle.

Porzingis hasn’t played this season as he continues to recover from an ACL injury suffered last season. He wasn’t scheduled to be re-evaluated until mid-February.

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Minnesota Timberwolves interim head coach Ryan Saunders has looked a lot like his late father Flip through his first two games in charge, whether he’s conducting his pregame radio interviews on the court or running 5-52 Twist, one of his dad’s favorite plays.

Dallas Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle, who’s gotten to know Saunders since his father’s death three years ago, favorably compared the 32-year-old to the late coaching legend before the teams clashed Friday.

“Since his dad passed, Ryan and I have spent a lot of time together talking basketball, talking about the league, his career, a lot of things that I learned when I was his age being around great basketball people like Chuck Daly, Bill Fitch, Larry Bird,” Carlisle said, according to The Athletic’s Jon Krawczynski. “You never know what’s going to happen, but this opportunity is something that is great for him. He’s built so similarly to his dad in terms of his character, in terms of his amazing way with people, in terms of his positive view on things that I know this arena is going to be a zoo tonight.”

The Mavs defeated the T-Wolves 119-115 on Friday evening. Minnesota (20-22) is in a three-way tie for 11th place in the Western Conference, just 2.5 games back of a playoff spot entering Saturday’s play.

Dallas Mavericks legend Dirk Nowitzki is hoping to make his season debut in three weeks, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

The 40-year-old underwent ankle surgery late last season and missed the final four games of the campaign.

Nowitzki returns to a squad that now features rookie Luka Doncic and newcomer DeAndre Jordan in the starting lineup. He’ll give the Mavericks a boost with his floor-spacing ability.

LeBron James looks back at the 2011 NBA Finals as the turning point in his career, with the Miami Heat coming up short against the Dallas Mavericks in six games despite being the heavy favorites.

“I thought it would be easy because I was teaming with some real players,” said James during Friday’s “The Shop” on HBO. “You go down there, we lose that Finals, I felt like the world had caved in. First of all, I was wearing a hat that I wasn’t accustomed to, and I bought into it because, at that point in time in my life, I was still caring about what other people thought. But that moment shaped me for who I am today.

“I’m not happy that I lost, but I left that Finals like, ‘Yo ‘Bron, what the f— was you on, man. You were overthinking everything, you didn’t show up, you didn’t do what you were supposed to do, and now you can’t even sleep at night because you didn’t give it all that you had.'”

It was evident in his numbers and on-court demeanor that James was his own worst enemy in that series. He spent the summer hyping up the number of championships the new-look Heat could potentially win, and when the opportunity presented itself to capture the title, James froze on the big stage.

He averaged 17.8 points on 15 shots and converted 32.1 percent from 3-point range while adding 7.2 rebounds, 6.8 assists, and four turnovers in 43.6 minutes. James was ripped to shreds by the media for not being aggressive, constantly deferring to his All-Star teammates, and putting up paltry offensive numbers when he was capable of so much more.

“After that Finals, I was just like, ‘That’s never happening again. I may lose again, I may not win everything, but I’ll never fail again,'” added James, who capped off his rant by saying overcoming that defeat was his “greatest achievement” after being asked if it was his greatest failure.

James and Miami bounced back by winning the next two championships. He then returned home to rejoin the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2014, hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy once again in 2016.

The NBA announced Wednesday that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has agreed to donate $10 million toward programs combating domestic violence and promoting the development of women in the sports industry following an NBA investigation into workplace misconduct.

Some of the Association’s key findings include:

  • Numerous instances of sexual harassment and other inappropriate conduct within the organization spanning over 20 years
    • Improper conduct toward 15 female employees by former Mavericks President and CEO Terdema Ussery, including inappropriate comments, touching, and forcible kissing
    • Improper conduct by former Mavericks ticket sales employee Chris Hyde, including inappropriate sexual comments to women, sharing of pornographic images and videos, unwanted sexual advances, and violent and threatening outbursts toward workers
    • Two acts of domestic violence by former Mavs.com reporter Earl Sneed

“The findings of the independent investigation are disturbing and heartbreaking and no employee in the NBA, or any workplace for that matter, should be subject to the type of working environment described in the report,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said. “We appreciate that Mark Cuban reacted swiftly, thoroughly and transparently to the allegations first set forth in Sports Illustrated, including the immediate hiring of Cynthia Marshall as CEO to effect change, but as Mark has acknowledged, he is ultimately responsible for the culture and conduct of his employees.”

In response to the findings, the league added it will place mandated sanctions on the Mavericks that requires the franchise to increase the number of women on staff, enhance formal reporting processes for victims of misconduct, implement regular anonymous surveys to evaluate workplace culture, and expand and improve the Mavericks’ human resources department.

The NBA also requires Dallas to provide quarterly reports of their implementation of the league’s recommendations, immediately report any instance of significant misconduct by an employee, enhance and update the annual “Respect in the Workplace” training for staff, and implement a program to train all staff on issues related to domestic violence, sexual assault, and sexual harassment.

For his part, Cuban has apologized for the severity of the incidents and accepted responsibility.

“An apology to the women involved and to their families,” Cuban said on ESPN’s “The Jump” on Wednesday. “I’m just sorry I didn’t see it and didn’t recognize it. I didn’t know and I don’t have an explanation. And I have to be accountable for it.”

Nerlens Noel has agreed to a two-year deal with the Oklahoma City Thunder that includes a player option for the second season, sources told Yahoo Sports’ Shams Charania.

The 24-year-old sat out most of last season after undergoing surgery on his left thumb. He missed 42 consecutive games and played few minutes upon his return after falling out of favor with head coach Rick Carlisle.

Noel was drafted sixth overall by the New Orleans Pelicans in 2013, traded to the Philadelphia 76ers, and was shipped to Dallas in February of 2017. He reportedly turned down a four-year, $70-million deal from the Mavericks last summer and instead accepted his $4.1-million qualifying offer.

Noel averaged 4.4 points and 5.6 boards in 15.7 minutes through 30 contests last season.