Sportress of Blogitude

Mark Cuban calls B.S. on Dirk Nowitzki’s farewell tour claims


Dirk Nowitzki obviously is nearer the end of his NBA career than the beginning of it by a substantial margin. But as the potential Hall of Famer recognizes his own basketball mortality and the thoughts begin to creep in on exactly when to call it quits, one thing is certain … or at least the Dallas Mavericks star claims is a sure thing:

He doesn’t want any Kobe Bryant-esque, season-long farewell tour.

The seven-foot German whose all-around game and shooting touch belies his size, recently was shadowed by Sports Illustrated’s Chris Ballard for an extensive profile. Among the items cut from the feature story was a nugget about how Nowitzki isn’t interested in the pomp and circumstance of a 82-game-long so-long.

“I don’t want people to high-five me everywhere I go or make this a big deal about me,” he said. “What [Derek] Jeter did or what the closer, Mariano Rivera, did — every ballpark you get some gifts, you know, sausages in Milwaukee? No chance I’d ever do that. I’m not the guy who will say, ‘This is my last year’ … When I’m gone, I’m gone.”

One person who isn’t buying that claim for one second is Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, someone who obviously knows Nowitzki quite well. In fact, Cuban says it a big load of B.S., although he didn’t state in that manner.

“Bulls—! Bulls—, bulls—, bulls—, bulls—, bulls—, bulls—,” Cuban said. “Yeah, he loves that little wave when he comes out and passes a milestone. He loves it. LOOOVES IT! I don’t care what he says. ‘I don’t like going to the All-Star Games. I don’t want a farewell tour.’ He loves it!”

Only time will tell if Nowitzki sticks to his claim he doesn’t want his retirement to be a season-long goodbye or if Cuban’s crying foul on that notion is correct. But one thing is certain: If Nowitzki wants a celebrated, over-the-top and lengthy farewell tour, Cuban — one of the most bombastic owners in all of sport — is the guy who will make sure it happens.

But if there’s one guy who deserves a bunch of accolades before he hangs it up – and has the fun-loving disposition and outgoing personality to relish it — it’s Nowitizki.