Mavericks training camp: Europe trip worth the wait for Dirk Nowitzki

Ralph Orlowski - Bongarts/Getty Images

Dirk Nowitzki gets to play his first ever game in Europe as part of a NBA team.

The Dallas Mavericks begin a busy exhibition season in Europe, which allows Dirk Nowitzki to play with a NBA team in his homeland of Germany. Nowitzki has waited 15 years to be able to play in Europe with an NBA team, and he is very excited about the opportunity:

"It is fun, I mean it is a good feeling inside, you know?," Nowitzki said. "Bringing out the passport I was the only one with the red passport, which means I'm the only German besides (Chris) Kaman, but I think he left his at home. So yeah, it is a good feeling to finally be home and have a game at home with the Mavericks here. Obviously (I've) played over the years with the German National team many many times but not with the Mavericks, so this is something new."

Nowitzki also talked about how he has tried to get more attention to basketball in Germany, where the sport struggles for attention. This trip with the Mavericks is just another chance for him to showcase the sport to his native country.

He also talked about how the success has been mixed over the years:

"Over a decade that I've played, I wanted to take basketball to a more known status," Nowitzki said. "I've played (on the) national team as much as I could over the last, whatever, 12, 13 years, and just trying to make the game more popular and win more kids over to our sport. That's what I've tried to do."

[...]

"We had some great results with the National teams over the years. We won a silver medal at the Euros, we won a bronze medal at the Worlds, we went to the Beijing Olympics, so I think we tried everything in our power to grow the game as much as we could."

Perhaps playing with the Mavericks in Europe could do even more to open the eyes of those in Germany and take basketball to a new level.

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