Dirk Nowitzki Opt Out? Dirk's Options For 2010 and Beyond

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Dirk Nowitzki Opt Out? Dirk's Options For 2010 and Beyond

Who knows how these things get started? An offhand comment here, a journalist hungry for an idea there, and all of a sudden the NBA world is abuzz with the thought that Dirk Nowitzki might leave the only basketball team he's ever known for a chance at a ring.

But as Karl Malone proved, joining a loaded team at the end of your career isn't necessarily a surefire way to get that ring. And as John Stockton proved, you don't have to sell out to not win a championship.

Clearly Dirk would be a sought-after commodity by a lot of teams, but the question remains, will any of them give Dirk a better chance to win a title than the Mavericks?

Dirk basically has three options facing him at this point in his career: the Kevin Garnett, the John Stockton or the Paul Pierce.

Kevin Garnett busted his butt for most of his career playing with terrible players, and he only won his championship by being traded to another team. He got his ring, but it must be bittersweet for T-Wolves fans.

John Stockton became an icon for the Utah Jazz, staying with the team as long as he could, but not winning a ring. Do people respect Stockton any less? I don't think so, but he never got that ring.

And Paul Pierce, who slaved away at the bottom of the league for most of his career, but still stayed loyal to the fans and the franchise, and was ultimately rewarded for his efforts. As thrilled as Ray Allen and Garnett were to win that ring, it didn't compare with the joy Pierce felt, as evidenced by his tears at the ring ceremony.

Sure, Dirk will more than likely stay, but there's no reason we can't have a little fun in examining his options for him, right?

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