Dirk Nowitzki interview
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2008 NBA All-Star Weekend kicks off tonight in New Orleans. This afternoon, Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki, a Western conference All-Star, met with the media and discussed his reaction to the possible trade that would bring Jason Kidd to the Mavs, and comments on this summer's Olympic basketball competition.
Q: What are your thoughts about the Olympics?
Dirk Nowitzki: It's definitely going to be a beating. It's going to be a battle. I saw the groups. It's actually not too bad. I think Brazil is very dangerous in our group.
Q: Your group of teams is a tough one.
Dirk Nowitzki: Yeah, we've got Greece, and who is in the other group? Greece I mean, really to get through it's going to be a hard job. But being part of the Olympics is still one of my biggest dreams. So we're going to be there hopefully, and hopefully we're going to make it.
Q: If you could pick three teams for the Olympics from the qualification group, which team would be it be?
Dirk Nowitzki: Well, hopefully Germany is one of them. And I mean it's tough. Greece is probably the heavy favorite in their home country. Then I guess the rest is wide open. Croatia is really a young team, fun to watch.
Q: Is it your last competition for the National Team at that level?
Dirk Nowitzki: If I make the Olympics, I said I was going to have a break. I didn't say I'm going to retire nationally. You never want to say, you know, that this is it. I always want to keep the future open. If I may have a break one or two years, I might miss it that much that I want to play. It all depends on how the future plays out, how my body holds up. I always love representing my country. I've always had a blast. So hopefully we can go to the Olympics and take a little break.
Q: How tough have the last few days been, on the Mavericks, Dirk?
Dirk Nowitzki: Yeah, it's been definitely a weird couple of days. Everything kind of hanging in the air, and nobody really knew what was going on. And when they basically said the deal was done, then all of a sudden it wasn't, the team said okay. They didn't know if they were going to dress or not, and then they ended up playing. So it was definitely a weird feeling. But we as a team made the best out of it. We tried to stay focused and tried to keep the group together. I mean, it's really all you can do. Once everybody goes in their own direction, then the chemistry's going to get messed up, and we won't win anything. We want to make sure we keep everybody together. And whoever puts the uniform on will give it their best.
Q: Are you worried if the Jason Kidd deal doesn't go through it could split the locker room?
Dirk Nowitzki: Well, I think that's where the leaders of this team have to make sure it doesn't happen. If the locker room gets separated, there's no way we're going to achieve our goal. So, you know, deal or no deal, we've got to make sure that the troops are ready to go. They're fired up. They stay together. And we still want to have fun together, and share good times on the bus, because we spend so much time together you don't want to have distractions in the locker room. We'll just see what happens here next week, and hopefully we can move forward with good locker room chemistry. We always had good chemistry since I got to Dallas. It's always been fun to be around.