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Dirk Nowitzki: "I'm pretty sure I'm not going to sign Kobe's deal"

Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) reacts after hitting a three point shot during the second half of their NBA basketball game against the Utah Jazz  in Salt Lake City, Utah

Dirk Nowitzki turns 36 next month, and his Hall of Fame career is winding to a close. Nowitzki, who has a Championship ring, is probably already one of the Top 25 players in NBA history, and given how surprisingly strong Dallas was in the first round this year – lost to San Antonio in seven games – it’s not completely out of the realm of possibility that the Mavericks could still make a run at one more title with Nowitzki assuming they re-sign him this July.

When asked about his contract situation, Nowitzki took a jab at Kobe:

“We want to get better as a team. And I’m pretty sure I’m not going to sign Kobe’s deal – unfortunately (Bryant signed a two-year, $48-million extension). “We’ll find a good way where I feel respected for what I did and we still have enough money left for us to get great players in here. Cubes has been great to me and been loyal to me for a long, long time. I’m sure we’re going to find a great solution for everybody.”

Signed at the right price, Dallas could be active in free agency, and it’ll have the 21st pick in the draft. Last year’s first round pick, Shane Larkin, will probably assume backup point guard duties from free-agent-to-be Devin Harris. [via Dallas Morning News]

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