Before 2011, you probably would have said that Dirk Nowitzki was going to be one of those all-time great players who would never win a championship. Before 2011, Dirk Nowitzki would have probably demanded a trade had the team been in the position it is today.
But then 2011 happened.
In season No. 13, Dirk and the Mavs won the NBA title, and that's why he has no reason to start ring-chasing now.
"The only reason I would leave -- or would have left -- is if we wouldn't have won the championship, and I would have been like a Karl Malone and [Gary] Payton going to join Kobe and Shaq in L.A. like they did at the end," said Nowitzki.
No matter how bad it gets in Dallas, Dirk will always be chillin' knowing he got the ring many said he wouldn't get. After knee surgery and a June birthday celebrating the big 3-5, relocating to chase ring No. 2 just doesn't seem all that Dirk-like. The guy has been in Dallas since 1998. Now that he's old and limited he's going to bolt and move somewhere else? It just wouldn't add up.
Even if Dallas doesn't land a stud in free agency, it's not likely to trigger a trade demand. He's expressed his frustration with regard to striking out on Deron Williams and Dwight Howard, and Chris Paul unlikely to hit the open market.
But he knows the deal.
Dirk is fully aware that with the young, up and coming teams like the Thunder, Clippers and Grizzlies, not to mention the Heat and full-strength Bulls in the East, Dallas doesn't have much of a chance here. He mentioned that he hopes Mark Cuban "has something up his sleeve," but that's just to put the pressure on him. There's not much Cuban can do over the next two years, especially with Dirk not being the player he used to be, to make this team a legitimate contender, and Nowitzki knows it.
If he was ever going to demand a trade, now would be the time. And he's made it pretty clear that he has no intention to do so.
The Mavs haven't finished below the .500 mark since 2000, which means neither has Dirk Nowitzki. With this year's team sinking deeper by the day, it's only natural for frustration to set in.
Should Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs mutually part ways?
Dirk made some comments to the media over the past few days that seem to question the direction and upside of the team.
Nowitzki acknowledged to Tim MacMahon and ESPNDallas.com the fact that Cuban had signed a number of free agents to one-year deals in order to stay financially flexible.
"So either you break the whole thing up and trade me, or you get a bunch of one-year deals and try to be a player next summer. That's the decision we made, so now we've got to fight through it."
Nowitzki does have a no-trade clause, so even if Cuban wanted to deal him he would need Dirk's consent. But Cuban has no interest in dealing him, and Dirk has no interest in leaving.
To any speculation that Dirk would ever ask for a trade: "I can't really see myself anywhere else."
— Earl K. Sneed (@EKS_MavsNBA) January 10, 2013
You have to credit Cuban's loyalty. He's stuck with his boy, and continues to ride with him—even when he's reached the stage where he's the overpaid veteran.
“So there’s no way that I’d trade him, no matter what,” said Cuban in referring to Nowitzki.
These two will stick together, at least until Dirk's contract expires the summer of 2014.