Sure, LeBron James went home , Kevin Durant received $350 million to wear a brand of shoes he might've worn anyway and DeMarcus Cousins represented his country with honor , but Dirk Nowitzki is quietly enjoying the best summer, and we better start enjoying it with him before it's over. His Dallas Mavericks replaced three important but aging contributors to a team that took the San Antonio Spurs deeper into a series this past spring than anybody else — Jose Calderon, Vince Carter and Shawn Marion — by reacquiring old friend Tyson Chandler, swiping Chandler Parsons from the division rival Rockets and adding a couple capable point guards in Jameer Nelson and Raymond Felton. Is that group better than the one that took the Spurs to seven games in the first round this past season? Time will tell, obviously, but Nowitzki sure seems pleased as he makes the German media rounds. After all, one doesn't sing David Hasselhoff songs on national television without a certain degree of comfort. Hasselhoff's "Looking for Freedom" spent eight weeks at No. 1 on the German charts in 1989, when Nowitzki was an 11-year-old boy sporting lederhosen and clogs on the courts of Würzburg, and he later joked about humming the tune as part of his free throw shooting routine during the 2006 NBA playoffs. Soon afterwards, the former Baywatch star, seeking the spotlight like only the Hoff knows how, showed up on the sidelines of a Mavericks-Suns matchup in the Western Conference finals, and Nowitzki ultimately reached the finals as Miami Heat fans rained "Dav-id Hass-el-hoff" chants down upon him. This is Dirk's jam, so it's no wonder he pulls it off wonderfully on the set of Stefan Raab's German version of "The Tonight Show." But this isn't the only good news Nowitzki has offered in recent days. The 12-time All-Star has touched on topics ranging from his interest in returning to the German national team ( he will ) to his flatulence etiquette during interviews ( he will not ). Good news for Stefan Raab, apparently. Why so much fun with Dirk this summer? Well, he's promoting a documentary about his life entitled, " Nowitzki: Der Perfekte Wurf " ("Nowitzki: The Perfect Shot"), perhaps in an effort to make up for all that money he passed up by signing a three-year, $25 million deal to stay in Dallas this past July. Dirk Nowitzki. Not about the money. All about the Hoff. What a summer.
By Larry Fine NEW YORK (Reuters) - A spate of late withdrawals, a serious injury to Paul George and several marquee names missing appeared to put Team USA under a cloud for the 2014 Basketball World Cup and for future international competition. Instead, a group of sharp-shooting NBA regulars were unbeaten in Spain and produced a 129-92 victory over Serbia in the final to underline the depth the U.S. Stalwarts LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul were missing from the initial training camp, with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin bowing out late in the process before Indiana forward George broke his leg in training and could now miss the NBA season.
The Scoop:He wore a Robert Griffin III jersey and was spotted in the team shop. Durant is from the Washington area and has answered plenty of questions about joining the Wizards in a couple seasons, so his Sunday appearance will probably require him to answer even more questions. He's fantasy basketball's best player and it's not close.
Much has been written about Carmelo Anthony’s potential departure and eventual re-connection with the New York Knicks. How it wasn’t about the money, even though Carmelo Anthony turned down offers from better teams to play for less money. How it’s all about winning, even if it may take a while to succeed in New York under new president Phil Jackson and rookie head coach Derek Fisher. Now, we’ve got yet another reason. The guy doesn’t want to be a free agent again. Ever, ever, ever. (Even if he totally wanted to be a free agent this summer.) Anthony further discussed his reasoning at the same Bloomberg Sports Business Summit that provided Adam Silver’s telling remarks about legalized betting and the idea of early-morning NBA tip-offs to further accommodate Chinese viewership. Here’s Anthony’s take on what must have been a miserable summer, via the New York Post’s Marc Berman’s report : “I plan on ending my career here, so it wasn’t for me to go out there and try to strike a two-year deal and then have to go through this situation in two years. I’m not doing that ever again. I would never do that again. I would advise no one to ever do that,” Anthony said. “I experienced it and it’s behind me.” Remember that “behind me” entails five-star accommodations as Anthony was wined and dined and recruited in third-world outposts like Chicago, Los Angeles, Dallas and Houston . Also, ‘membah this :? “I want to be a free agent,” Anthony tells a reporter from the New York Observer, as their cigars burn close to the nub. “I think everybody in the NBA dreams to be a free agent at least one time in their career. It’s like you have an evaluation period, you know. It’s like if I’m in the gym and I have all the coaches, all the owners, all the GMs come into the gym and just evaluate everything I do. So yes, I want that experience.” Be careful what you wish for, I suppose. September snark aside, this is completely understandable from all angles. Anthony was never a free agent, prior to this summer, despite entering the NBA in 2003. His 2006 contract extension with Denver fell before his eventual free-agent status, and he signed an extension with New York upon forcing a trade to the Knicks in 2011. It’s nice to be wanted, and it’s nice to feel in control of your own destiny. It’s also nice to have potentially great teams, potentially interesting situations, and potential hundreds of millions of dollars offered to you by a variety of franchises. The Lakers aren’t doing anything any time soon, but they will have a future once Kobe Bryant’s contract comes off the books, and helping re-load a franchise while nesting by the waves of Malibu should have been incredibly appealing. Dallas didn’t figure to be an obvious championship contender even with Anthony suiting up alongside Dirk Nowitzki, but the Mavericks didn’t seem like an obvious championship contender heading into 2010-11, and that didn’t stop them from falling behind Rick Carlisle’s wily ways and winning a ring. Lining up alongside Dwight Howard, James Harden and lord knows who else in Kevin McHale and Daryl Morey’s madcap experiment with Houston? That could have been incredible, and possible championship, fun. Nobody knows how Derrick Rose will look while suiting for ( essentially ) his first time in two seasons, but a lineup featuring a brilliant defensive front court and emerging young bench talent under the leadership of Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau should have truly intrigued Anthony. Especially when the Bulls were apparently, for better or worse for the franchise, ready to offer Carmelo the same deal that is going to make LeBron James a whole heck of a lot of money: Melo says idea of a two-year deal, like what LeBron just agreed to, wasn't intriguing to him. Didn't want high-stress situation of FA again — Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) September 4, 2014 CHI had reportedly floated the idea of a short-term 2-yr deal for Melo so he could re-sign for max in 2016. He says that wasnt appealing. — Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) September 4, 2014 Melo: "Over five years, the amount of money I left on the table, relative to the contract that I got, it’s not a lot of money." — Chris Herring (@HerringWSJ) September 4, 2014 That would, as you know, make Anthony a free agent in 2016 at the age of 32, and possibly as his prime starts to decline. The Chicago Bulls can’t NBA-legally assure Anthony that a maximum contract extension following a two-year deal would be in the cards, and there’s always the possibility the franchise could take advantage of two years of Anthony’s prime at below his free-agent value, then pull the carpet out from underneath him and leave him without that expected extension just as his production starts to decline. Now, Chicago would run the risk of turning off just about every player agent and future NBA free agent in the process, but there’s always the chance. I suppose. Of course, there’s always this telling addendum, via the Post : Anthony noted a move also would have meant restarting his brand from scratch. “I just felt if I was to leave, I would have to … build that foundation up once again, and it took me a while to build that foundation and to get it up and going to where it’s at right now,” Anthony said. /Mr. Burns voice: Ah yes … the brand! Now “his brand” is Marc Berman’s choice of phrase, but he’s not wrong in using it. And Carmelo Anthony isn’t wrong in considering it – his off-court and on-court brand and, heaven forbid, thinking about his family . Anthony is explaining quite a bit away, but he doesn’t need to. All he has to do is align his statements, and we’d understand. The Knicks offered him the most amount of money, and the ability to play in a wonderful city while making an average of $26 million until he is 35. He and his wife enjoy New York, and the roots they’ve put down. Also, while the Knicks were embarrassing last season and won’t be much better in 2014-15, there is the sound possibility that Phil Jackson could at the very least turn the squad into an aesthetically-pleasing winner that Anthony would enjoy playing with. They won’t land Kevin Love or Kevin Durant, but things could eventually turn around, even if a championship isn’t in the offing. That’s just a paragraph’s worth of explanations. There’s no need to lie about how it wasn’t about the money, because money was a huge part of it, and we understand. There’s no need to hold your nose at the thought of free agency, 11 months after drooling over the prospect of no restriction, because anything can happen between now and 2016, and we understand. And don’t talk up building a foundation in New York, because it’s already shot to hell, and foundations in Houston, Chicago and Dallas are already in place. Just say that you love New York, you have faith in Phil Jackson, and that the guaranteed money was too much to pass up. We’d understand. Around the NBA: - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops