|According to the boss, Dirk isn't going anywhere|
Even though it hasn't been discussed widely thus far this season, Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban has dismissed the notion that his struggling team–sitting at 10 games under .500 in recent days–will trade superstar and long-time franchise player Dirk Nowitzki to clear cap and accelerate the inevitable rebuild Dallas needs to go through, badly. The Mavericks won the NBA Championship in a classic series over the Heat in 2011, capping off a streak of 12 straight playoff appearances that extended until last season, a mark that probably won't continue this season.
However, after that incredible triumph in 2011, Dallas cleaned house to a certain extent, losing key players like Tyson Chandler, Caron Butler, and Brandon Haywood–to name a few–who contributed greatly to their win over Miami. Then, after last season, they lost Jason Kidd and Jason Terry, just furthering the extent of which they drained their team of veteran experience to promote youth and cheaper players. Other than Shawn Marion, the only real cog for Dallas that has been with the team throughout the house-cleaning has been Dirk, who since going to Dallas on Draft Day 1998 via trade from the Bucks, has been the image of the Mavericks' successes.
He's been that one constant presence who has stuck with the team through the highs and the lows, unlike former teammates like Steve Nash and Jason Kidd, who left on their own volition after shorter stint in Big D. Obviously, it hasn't only been Dirk to thank for the Mavs' continued playoff appearances, as he had some great supporting casts, but there is something to be said about a guy with his staying power and consistent production, even as he's aged and clearly lost some of his physical attributes.
I guess that's why Cuban wanted to make it 100% clear that Dirk is going nowhere, because the calming sense and veteran-ship he brings to the table for a younger squad like the Mavs is truly priceless. That's an effect that can't really be seen by someone outside of the locker room but it's something that we know is there and is significant. Even if his talent and production may be slipping, the move to assure Mavs players and fans that their long-loved icon is sure to bring at least some tranquility to a franchise that has had an awful year so far, from missing out on both D-Will and Dwight Howard to its poor start.