Apr 15, 2013; Dallas, TX, USA; Dallas Mavericks power forward Dirk Nowitzki (41) takes the court to face the Memphis Grizzlies at the American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

German national coach tells Dirk Nowitzki the door is open


Dirk Nowitzki has taken some time off from the German national team. He last played for Germany at EuroBasket in 2011 in an effort to help Germany reach the London Olympics. Nowitzki was fatigued from the Dallas Mavericks title run and the German team didn’t make it but they look like they can make a run at the 2014 Brazil olympics.

Germany coach Frank Menz said that Dirk can always return if he wants.

“He said he really wanted to play for the national team,” Menz said. “He always enjoyed it. And he wants all the younger players to one day have a chance to play at an Olympic Games. He had that experience. He said, ‘But that’s 2016. I have three more NBA seasons [until then].’

“And he’s not the youngest player. He has a family now. So we’ll see. But he’s always in touch. He follows what we do. He has a chance and — if we have a good team — we might see.”

Bayern Munich forward Robin Benzing, and Spanish-based center Tibor Pleiss, a 2010 second-round draftee whose rights are held by the Oklahoma City Thunder are helping to rejuvenate the German squad. That could entice Nowitzki to come back.

“Tibor is the second-highest rebounder here,” Menz said. “Robin’s one of the top scorers. He had a great tournament and has become a big-time star. We have some more very good young players not here at this championships, a few on their way to the NBA. We have talented players who couldn’t play because of injuries. But it takes time. It might take us a few years.”

Tags: Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki