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The Top 10 Quotes From Mavs Exit Day
1: A little Dirk on the way ...
There has been a lot of talk of Dirk Nowitzki sticking around in Dallas this summer so that he can help Mark Cuban and Donnie Nelson recruit a big name free agent. Dirk still plans on doing that, but that's not the only motivation that he has to remain in town.
"I'll be here a lot more than I've actually ever been this summer," Nowitzki said. "It's also because we have a baby on the way so that one reason why I won't be gone for three or four months this summer."
Nowitzki also reiterated that he doesn't expect to ever play for any other NBA team in his career, but that doesn't mean he is about to let his front office off the hook.
"I don't see myself going anywhere else but here," Nowitzki said. "Really the pressure is on Mark and Donnie to get this franchise back to where it belongs and they know that. Then we're all good."
See Dirk's "I Belong To The City'' proclamation here.
2: O.J. Opting Out ...
Even after O.J. Mayo's declining performance as the season ended, many still believed that it was inevitable that he would use his player option to opt out of his $4.2 million deal in order to enter free agency.
Mayo claimed that he has already made the decision to opt out of his contract.
"Yeah, I'm going to try to work something out to stay here long-term."
He also said that he thinks the team has a mutual interest in retaining him for an extended contract.
"Yea, I think so. After having a meeting with coach and Mr. Nelson I think we are going to try to get after it this summer."
But there could be other suitors ...
Mayo certainly made it sound like his hopes are to be a part of the Dallas Mavericks future for the foreseeable future, but the Mavericks weren't the only team interested in him last summer and they likely won't be the only team this summer.
"It depends on what happens," Mayo said. "(Other teams) will do the draft and free agency. I think so. New teams I'm sure have their own list so I'll just have to talk to my agent and figure it out."
A detailed breakdown of Mayo's situation can be found here.
3: 'Out-of-body' ...
Mavs GM said not being in the playoffs for the first time in a dozen years is an "out-of-body experience.'' But he believes there are some positives to come out of this season.
"We will not be back with the same exact team, but there are some gems in there that I think we would absolutely welcome back on this team,'' Donnie said.
4: Rick will stick ...
Once in awhile, we hear a Mavs outsider suggest that the coach should be upset at his bosses for this 41-41 season. We make the point that this is The Triangle of Trust, and that Carlisle in all-in here alongside Cuban and Donnie.
"Mark and Dirk are the two primary guys in my life,'' said Rick Carlisle. "Those two guys have given me an unbelievable opportunity here in Dallas."
5: Brand wants back ...
Elton Brand brought a strong locker room presence and anchored the defense at times. As a veteran in this league, Brand knows a good organization when he sees one and claims to hope to be back with the Mavericks at the start of next season.
"Of course I'd like to be back," Brand said. ".500 for this organization is definitely a failure. I don't want to be a part of that and then leave a bad taste. I definitely want to be here on a winning team and try to rectify what happened this season."
EB also suggested that he'd rather spend more time playing the 4 than the 5. Something to file away. ...
6: Vince is ready to contend ...
Vince Carter brings the same veteran mentality to the Mavericks that made the 2010 championship team so great. Unfortunately for him, he showed up a year late. Carter explained that he understands staying the course and that he expects the team to be better next year.
"I don't want to be in this position again," Carter said. "I want an opportunity to play for a championship. Some of these guys around here were fortunate enough to do that. So that's my goal and that's what I take into the offseason is preparing myself and making sure I'm ready come training camp."
More on Carter to come, including a Premium breakdown of his season.
7: Time to relax? ...
Darren Collison has been anything but a distraction this season for the Mavericks despite having a difficult contract season. Collison had the starting job taken from him by Mike James half way through the season.
Collison's future is very uncertain, but he is taking a stress-free approach and hopes that his performance and abilities are enough to impress his potential suitors.
"Everything is out of your control at this point," Collison says. "My agent, this is his time to work. It's my time to relax and get my mind clear and continue to get better."
8: Is a starting job a must? ...
Collison was asked if he would be comfortable coming back to Dallas to play the same role he played this year coming off the bench.
"I don't know, we'll see," Collison said. "We'll definitely see. I'm not going to say no because I'm capable of playing off the bench. At the same time I just know who I am as a person and as a player. I know I'm capable of playing for any team as a starter."
9: We want the big guns ...
The Mavericks front office will have to have more than one plan. They will need a Plan A, a Plan B and a Plan C. And they will need to be able to be creative in forming a contending roster.
But Nowitzki also made it clear on Thursday that the biggest names on the market are the players that he wants as his teammates.
"I think we'd love to get Dwight and CP3," Nowitzki said with a smile. "I guess it's too early to see what's out there. The season for those two isn't even over. They probably don't even know what they are going to do."
He went on to praise the game of Clippers' point guard and soon to be free agent Chris Paul.
"CP3 is I think the total package. I don't know if you can find another (point guard) like that. He's probably the best in the league right now."
10: Dirk in the War Room ...
Nowitzki said he plans to be involved in the Dallas Mavericks drafting process. Well, "involved" might be a slight exaggeration. He at least plans on being in the room where the decisions are made.
"I'm going to be in the War Room for the first time on draft day and see what that experience is like. I heard they order pizza and stuff and sit there and talk basketball. I'll fit right in."