Category Archive: Dallas Mavericks

Dallas Mavericks News

May 27

Ntilikina, Smith, Markkanen: Immediate contributors should be plentiful for Dallas in the NBA draft

Over the last month, the Mavericks have dispatched several members of their front-office staff to Europe to get to know more about point guard Frank Ntilikina and watch him play.Among the people who have seen him, the opinion is quite positive.He has l…

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May 27

Mosley: Lottery team or not, current Mavs roster will do everything it can to return to the playoffs next season

Matt Mosley, contributor to SportsDayDFW.com and columnist for Texas Monthly, answered questions in a recent live chat. Are Harrison Barnes and Nerlens Noel good enough to be the second and third best players on a championship team?Mosley: If the No. 1…

Permanent link to this article: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericks/2017/05/27/mosley-lottery-team-current-mavs-roster-will-everything-can-return-playoffs-next-season

May 27

10 things you might not know about Wesley Matthews, including his love for Iron Man

*Editor’s note: Throughout the Mavs’ offseason, we’re republishing some of our best Dallas Mavericks stories from years past. Today we meet Wesley Matthews. Here are 10 things you might not know about the guard.Iron ManMatthews calls himself Iron Man a…

Permanent link to this article: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericks/2017/05/26/10-things-might-know-wesley-matthews-including-love-iron-man

May 26

NBA draft prospect breakdown: Malik Monk’s explosiveness and scoring ability have people drooling

The Mavericks have the No. 9 pick in the NBA draft (June 22). This is the eighth in a series breaking down the top prospects.Malik MonkGuard, Kentucky: 6-4, 197 poundsStats for freshman season: 19.8 points, 2.5 rebounds, 2.3 assists. Also shot 39.7-per…

Permanent link to this article: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericks/2017/05/26/nba-draft-prospect-breakdown-malik-monks-explosiveness-scoring-ability-people-drooling

May 26

Former Maverick Deron Williams celebrates first career trip to the NBA finals

The Cleveland Cavaliers clinched their third consecutive trip to the NBA finals on Thursday night with a 135-102 blowout of the Boston Celtics. While moments like this have become customary for the Cavs since LeBron James returned in 2014, it was a fir…

Permanent link to this article: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericks/2017/05/26/former-maverick-deron-williams-celebrates-first-career-trip-nba-finals

May 26

Yogi Ferrell captured imaginations of Indiana fans and is now turning them into Mavericks fans

Editor’s note: This story originally ran in February shortly after Yogi Ferrell signed his two-year contract with the Mavericks.Hoosiers aren’t surprised that Yogi-Mania is spreading across Dallas.If anything, we’re surprised it took so long for y’all …

Permanent link to this article: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericks/2017/05/25/yogi-ferrell-capturing-imagination-mavericks-fans-like-indiana

May 25

Why the Mavericks shouldn’t try to go all-in on 2017-18 season

Columnist Tim Cowlishaw recently held a chat to discuss all things D-FW sports. Here are some highlights.I understand wanting to avoid being a lottery team year in and year out, but Golden State is set up to rule the West for the next 3-5 years. So the…

Permanent link to this article: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericks/2017/05/25/mavericks-try-go-2017-18-season

May 25

NBA draft prospect breakdown: Jonathan Isaac’s size makes him an intriguing prospect

The Mavericks have the No. 9 pick in the NBA draft (June 22). This is the seventh in a series breaking down the top prospects.Jonathan IsaacForward, Florida State: 6-11, 205 poundsStats for freshman season: 12 points, 7.8 rebounds. Also averaged 1.5 bl…

Permanent link to this article: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericks/2017/05/25/nba-draft-prospect-breakdownjonathan-isaacs-size-makes-intriguing-prospect

May 25

Charles Barkley: Dirk’s championship with Mavericks looks better than any superteam’s title

With two-time champ and four-time MVP LeBron James on the verge of his seventh straight trip to the NBA Finals, much of the sports radio talk has inevitably turned to the Cavaliers star’s place in the annals of NBA greats.That’s exactly what Hall of Fa…

Permanent link to this article: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericks/2017/05/25/charles-barkley-dirk-nowitzkis-championship-mavericks-looks-better-superteams-title

May 25

Matt Mosley answers your questions on the Rangers, Cowboys, Mavs and more at 10 a.m. Tuesday, May 30; ask yours now

Matt Mosley, contributor to SportsDayDFW.com and columnist for Texas Monthly, answers your questions in a live chat at 10 a.m. Tuesday.Ask your questions by signing into the LiveFyre module below [click Sign in; use your Facebook or Twitter account] an…

Permanent link to this article: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/texas-rangers/rangers/2017/05/25/matt-mosley-answers-questions-rangers-cowboys-mavs-10-am-tuesday-may-30-ask-now

May 25

Newy Scruggs answers questions on the Rangers, Cowboys, Mavs and more at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 30; ask yours now

Newy Scruggs, sports anchor at NBC5 in Dallas-Fort Worth (KXAS-TV) and radio host weekly from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on NBC Sports Radio Sirius XM 213/202 and NBCSportsRadio.com, answers your questions at 2:30 p.m. Tuesday.Ask your questions by signing into…

Permanent link to this article: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/texas-rangers/rangers/2017/05/25/newy-scruggs-answers-questions-rangers-cowboys-mavs-230-pm-tuesday-may-30-ask-now

May 25

Tim Cowlishaw answers questions on the Rangers, Cowboys, Mavs and more at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 1; ask yours now

Tim Cowlishaw, sports columnist for SportsDayDFW.com and The Dallas Morning News, author of Drunk on Sports and panelist on ESPN’s Around the Horn, answers your questions about the Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks and local college sports in a live chat at …

Permanent link to this article: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/texas-rangers/rangers/2017/05/25/tim-cowlishaw-answers-questions-rangers-cowboys-mavs-11-am-thursday-june-1-ask-now

May 25

Kevin Sherrington answers questions on the Rangers, Cowboys, Mavs and more at 11 a.m. Wednesday, May 31; ask yours now

Kevin Sherrington, sports columnist for SportsDayDFW.com and The Dallas Morning News, answers your questions about the Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks and local college sports in a live chat at 11 a.m. Wednesday.Ask your questions by signing into the LiveF…

Permanent link to this article: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/texas-rangers/rangers/2017/05/25/kevin-sherrington-answers-questions-rangers-cowboys-mavs-11-am-wednesday-may-31-ask-now

May 25

Matt Mosley answers questions on the Rangers, Cowboys, Mavs and more at 11 a.m. Friday, June 2; ask yours now

Matt Mosley, contributor to SportsDayDFW.com and columnist for Texas Monthly, answers your questions at 11 a.m. Friday.Ask your questions by signing into the LiveFyre module below [click Sign in; use your Facebook or Twitter account] and he will have t…

Permanent link to this article: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/texas-rangers/rangers/2017/05/25/matt-mosley-answers-questions-rangers-cowboys-mavs-11-am-friday-june-2-ask-now

May 25

Mavs need to make moves to get good at basketball again, not to compete with the Warriors

Kevin Sherrington, sports columnist for SportsDayDFW.com and The Dallas Morning News, answered your questions about the Cowboys, Rangers, Mavericks and local college sports in a live chat recently. Here are some highlights:Question: Mavericks this, Mav…

Permanent link to this article: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericks/2017/05/24/mavs-need-make-moves-get-good-basketball-compete-warriors

May 25

From humble beginnings to NBA star, Nerlens Noel’s mom has been a rock in his journey to the top

Editor’s note: This story, “Meet new Mavericks star Nerlens Noel and his incredible mom” was originally published on March 13, 2017. When Nerlens Noel’s mother, Dorcina, heard her son might get traded from Philadelphia to the Mavericks, she prayed that…

Permanent link to this article: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericks/2017/05/24/nerlens-noels-path-nba-dallas-mavericks-can-traced-back-hard-working-mom

May 24

NBA draft prospect breakdown: Lauri Markkanen can be solid but pump the brakes on calling him the next Dirk Nowitzki

The Mavericks have the No. 9 pick in the NBA draft (June 22). This is the sixth in a series breaking down the top prospects.Lauri MarkkanenForward, Arizona: 7-0, 225 poundsStats for freshman season: 15.6 points, 7.2 rebounds in 37 games. Also averaged …

Permanent link to this article: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericks/2017/05/24/nba-draft-prospect-breakdown-lauri-markkanen-can-solid-pump-brakes-calling-next-dirk-nowitzki

May 24

Whether it’s Dennis Smith Jr. or Frank Ntilikina, Mavs could finally find their answer at point guard

Newy Scruggs, sports anchor at NBC5 in Dallas-Fort Worth (KXAS-TV) and radio host weekly from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on NBC Sports Radio Sirius XM 213/202 and NBCSportsRadio.com, answered questions in a live chat recently. Here are some highlights:Question:…

Permanent link to this article: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericks/2017/05/24/whether-dennis-smith-jr-frank-ntilikina-mavs-finally-find-answer-point-guard

May 24

NBA was better with Kevin Durant in Oklahoma City but his move to Golden State can be justified with unblemished postseason

While Mark Cuban and Mavericks fans will be forever grateful that Kevin Durant bolted Oklahoma City for Golden State last summer, I am only partially coming around on Durant’s unfortunate decision to jump ship.I still think — and I don’t believe there…

Permanent link to this article: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericks/2017/05/24/nba-better-kevin-durant-oklahoma-city-move-golden-state-can-justified-unblemished-postseason

May 24

We know Dirk the Mav; now meet Dirk the Dad

Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on June 16, 2016. With Father’s Day less than a month away, SportsDay is taking a look at Dirk, the dad.

Dirk Nowitzki had long wanted children. He thought he would be great with them, being a fun-loving, 7-foot lunk of a kid himself.

Responsible? He’d long been the rock of the Mavericks franchise, fiercely shepherding it an improbable NBA title. He’d even been his country’s Olympic flag bearer.

Nowitzki and his wife Jessica weren’t prepared, though, for the emotions that hit them on that late July 2013 day when they buckled newborn daughter Malaika into her car seat and drove away from the hospital, as a family, for the first time.

“That was the realest thing, probably ever in my entire life,” Nowitzki says. “That’s when you know, ‘Now this is all you. This is a responsibility for now on, for the rest of your life.’ ”

It’s called parenthood. Nearly three years into their journey, Dirk and Jessica also now have a 15-month-old son, Max.

Having two toddlers ensures perpetual chaos and entertainment, typical of many families, never mind that Nowitzki is North Texas’ most beloved athlete, if not person, of the past decade.

Sunday promises to be special for families everywhere, but for Dallas’ arguably most famous dad, it’s a double occasion.

Happy Father’s Day, Dirk.

And happy 38th birthday.

“As we know, when we get older, birthdays are not that much of a big deal anymore,” Nowitzki says. “Obviously, 40 in two years will be big, but until then it’ll just be a nice day with family.”

Last year, Father’s Day was two days after his birthday.

“Wifey got me a mani and a pedi and a massage to relax,” he recalls. “And she made breakfast, I think.”

So, Jessica, how is Dirk doing at this fatherhood thing?

“He’s very funny, dedicated and a bit of a pushover,” she says.

That sounds a lot like the Nowitzki whom Mavericks fans have come to know during his 18 seasons here. Though he’s the sixth-leading scorer in NBA history and famously competitive, the pushover part is easy to imagine for anyone who has seen Nowitzki around children.

Nowitzki’s sister, Silke, says her 10-year-old son, Lenny, loves shooting hoops with silly Uncle Dirk, although her daughter Layla, 7, prefers playing with Malaika.

Silke says she has enjoyed watching few-hours-at-a-time Uncle Dirk transition to fulltime parenthood. He even willingly changed diapers.

“The most important skill in dealing with little kids is humor,” Silke says. “And he has lots of it.”

Entrenched in Dallas

Most pro athletes have short playing careers. Sometimes, when fans are lucky, popular stars have extended runs.

Hall of Famers Bob Lilly, Randy White and Mel Renfro were Cowboys for 14 years; Emmitt Smith for 13; Troy Aikman 12; Roger Staubach and Tony Dorsett 11 apiece.

Pudge Rodriguez and Michael Young were Rangers for 13 seasons. Face-of-the-Stars Mike Modano played 16 seasons in Dallas.

Nowitzki has outpaced them all. He’s also coming off a season in which he averaged 18.3 points and 6.5 rebounds. He has one year left on his contract, but says he is leaning toward opting out and signing a multiyear deal with the Mavericks.

He marvels that he’s been a Dallasite for nearly as long as he lived in his hometown, Wurzburg, Germany.

“It’s been an emotional 18 years,” he says. “I feel very fortunate to be able to call both places home.”

He was 20 years and nine days old when he first visited Dallas, on June 28, 1998, four days after he was picked ninth overall in the NBA draft.

Accompanied by Mavericks coach and general manager Don Nelson, Nowitzki stepped off the plane wearing a blue plaid shirt, a small hoop earring and sporting a ’90s Nick Carter middle-part haircut.

He packed a towel for that week’s stay in Nelson’s home, unsure whether the coach had extras. During his rookie year, he drove a rented Plymouth. For much of that season, he slept catty-corner on a twin bed in his West Village apartment.

Year by year, Dallas watched its adopted, soon-to-be-favorite son mature through stages of stardom and manhood.

He was mop-haired Dirk, bearded Dirk, 2006 NBA finals Dirk and 2007 NBA MVP Dirk. In October 2007, on the cusp of his 10th season and seven months before his 30th birthday, he told The Dallas Morning News that he’d long resolved to not marry before age 30.

“I’m still on track,” he said with a laugh that day. “Obviously I don’t want to be a 40- or 45-year-old [new] dad, so I’m sure in the next five or six years, something’s going to happen.”

His prophesy proved as accurate as his jump shot. He was 34 when he married Swede Jessica Olsson on July 20, 2012. A year and four days later, Malaika (pronounced Muh-like-uh) was born.

Mavericks fans rejoiced for the franchise icon, having seen him endure the sting of playoff disappointments and the heartbreak of a 2009 engagement gone bad.

“I’m glad I had kids later in my career, where I can enjoy it more,” Nowitzki says now. “Sometimes I’m like, ‘I don’t think I could have done this in my 20s, when I was super-intense, when everything was so goal-driven.’

“I still love to compete, but now if I don’t sleep my eight hours it’s, ‘OK, just deal with it.’ But in my 20s, I would have been paranoid.”

Malaika, notes Dirk with a smile, is all girl. She loves music and dancing and Frozen, but she’s also starting to understand basketball. She says “Go Mavs” when she sees her father on TV, and when he kisses her goodbye before heading to American Airlines Center.

“When I come home from a weeklong road trip, I walk in the door with my bag and she comes running,” Nowitzki says. “Then the little guy sees her being excited, so he comes stumbling after her.

“It’s an amazing feeling. You can’t replace that with anything.”

From Dirk to Pappa

Nowitzki is among the elite fraternity of athletes known worldwide by a single name.

Dirk.

At home, he is Pappa.

Pappa means Dad in both Swedish and German, although Germans spell it Papa.

This past season, Malaika went to several home games to watch Pappa, among other attractions.

“She does recognize him on the court and understands what his job is,” Jessica says. “I think she was more excited and interested in the mascots, eating popcorn and watching all the action around the game, rather than the game.”

Does Malaika notice that 20,000 AAC fans yell loudest for Pappa?

“I don’t think she necessarily knows that the fans are cheering for just him at certain instances,” Jessica says. “But she understands that there are two teams competing and the fans are cheering for ‘our team.”’

Jessica’s twin brothers, Martin and Marcus, play professional soccer in Europe. The Nowitzkis often gather around the TV on weekends to watch them play.

“[Malaika] will probably grow up wondering why other friends’ dads or uncles don’t play sports,” Jessica jokes. “But we will explain that when we get there.”

The Nowitzki house is trilingual, with the kids learning English, Swedish and German. Dirk says Malaika is bright and has quickly picked up all three languages, though sometimes, he says with a smile, “She’s a little all over the shop.”

Jessica’s father is Swedish; her mother Kenyan. Dirk and Jessica say they want the kids to travel extensively and be exposed to different cultures, environments and foods.

“So they can grow up with an open mind,” Jessica says. “And through their experiences and our guidance, they will become their own individuals.”

In most countries, Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June, but Sweden’s Fars dag is on the second Sunday of November and Germany’s Vatertag coincides with Ascension Day, the 40th day of Easter.

Vatertag also is known through much of Germany as Männertag, or Men’s Day. By tradition, men stay out all day and night, drinking.

“I’ve never gone away boozing on Father’s Day,” Dirk jokes. “I might get on that tradition, though.”

Turning more serious, he says he has seen stories about new-wave parenting, of setting few boundaries and treating children more like friends. That’s not the example Nowitzki’s parents, Jörg and Helga, set.

“I want to be a firm dad that they have respect for, but also for them to know that there is love there,” he says. “I want to find that mixture, like my parents did.”

Jessica says Malaika and Max have personality traits of both parents, although Max seems to have more of Pappa’s competitive streak.

Dirk says Max usually can be seen holding a ball, often two. Pappa already envisions highly competitive Monopoly games in their future.

“He’s already got his own will,” Dirk says. “If you take something from him that he’s not supposed to have, he walks away a few steps and screams. So he’s got a little temper already.

“I’d say boys are a little wilder than girls. Everything he does is with force.”

‘A good place to be’

Celebrities, whether from sports or entertainment, have varying approaches as to when, and how much, their children are exposed to the limelight.

Two-time reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry’s older daughter, Riley, became a mini-celebrity during last year’s playoffs when, at age 2, she sat in her father’s lap during postgame news conferences.

Nowitzki has long preferred personal privacy, so it isn’t surprising that he and Jessica are extra-protective of their kids.

On June 10, at Frisco’s Dr Pepper Ballpark, Jessica and the kids watched from a suite while Dirk, for the fifth year, played in and hosted his Heroes Special Olympics softball and Heroes Celebrity baseball games.

Near the end of the fourth inning of the baseball game, Jessica and the kids slipped into the third-base dugout to share family and sports time with Pappa, an opportunity that NBA games simply don’t afford.

For this Father’s Day story, Dirk and Jessica permitted, during a few moments of their special gathering, The News to take photos, with a request: Please don’t show the kids’ faces.

Nowitzki says he cherishes the fact that his NBA career has lasted long enough for Malaika to grasp what he does for a living and to feel part of it.

Nowitzki figures Max is two or three years from that understanding, but he says that won’t factor into how much longer he plays.

“It would be sweet, but that’s going to be tough,” he says. “I would like that, but I doubt that’s going to happen. He came to a game this year, too, but it’s just too early.”

Nowitzki has come a long way since stepping off that plane at DFW International Airport at age 20, with only a high school education, never having lived outside of Germany.

Eighteen years, one championship, a wife and two kids later, a contemplative Nowitzki points out when athletic careers end, “You still have over half your life to live.”

Sunday’s double occasion reminds that one of his journeys is nearing an end; another barely has begun. All in all, Nowitzki says, it’s a very good place to be.

“It’s been an amazing next chapter in my life,” he says.

Happy Father’s Day, Dirk.

Happy birthday, too.

Permanent link to this article: https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/dallas-mavericks/mavericks/2017/05/23/know-dirk-mav-now-meet-dirk-dad

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