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Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has long opposed allowing NBA players to compete for their home countries, even telling ESPN.com's Marc Stein in the wake of Paul George's injury on Team USA this past summer, "teams take on huge financial risk so that the IOC committee members can line their pockets."
So, one would think Cuban has been pleased with Dirk Nowitzki's absence from the German national team the past four seasons, and that he might not be too thrilled with the future Hall of Famer's return to international basketball at age 37 — a decision announced Thursday on the Eurobasket 2015 website.
Except, the outspoken owner seems just fine with Nowitzki suiting up for what appears to be the final time on a national team he led to the 2002 World Championships bronze medal, the 2005 FIBA European Championships final and a berth in the 2008 Beijing Olympics during a 14-year span from 1997- 2011.
"I think it's great," Cuban told ESPN.com through the Cyber Dust messaging app Thursday. "Games are being played in Germany. It will be a chance for his fans there to see him play."
Indeed, Nowitzki told Eurobasket's website that he wouldn't be playing this September for Germany had Berlin not been hosting a group stage round also featuring Spain, Serbia, Turkey, Italy and Iceland.
"If it [the EuroBasket] was anywhere else, at the age of 37, it probably would have been a no-go for me.
"But when I heard that EuroBasket would be played in Berlin, a great basketball city, it was something I had dreamt about.
"Like every year, the [German Basketball Federation] let me take my decision after the NBA season and, in the end, the national team was lucky that we [Dallas Mavericks] lost so early," Dirk added with his trademark self-deprecating humour.
Given all that Nowitzki has done for the Mavericks — a 17-year career that's included the 2007 MVP honor, the 2011 NBA championship and the seventh most career points in NBA history — it would be hard for Cuban to deny his franchise's greatest player one last chance at international glory in his home country.
But Cuban's unwillingness to stand up to FIBA this time around might also symbolize a concession that this is the first stop on an extended farewell tour for Nowitzki, who will be 39 by the end of his current contract.
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