One thing we know about Dirk Nowitzki for sure is that when he says something, he'll follow through on it.
Way back in the week before Christmas, 2008, the Mavericks had just completed an east-coast road trip, on which Nowitzki sat in an empty practice gym in Washington and said the following:
"Every team is trying to be a player in 2010,'' he said. "Every team is trying to clear money under the cap so they can make a move.
"I'm very fortunate that I've made a lot of money in this league, even though I've never really played for money. I love the sport. I love this organization. Obviously, I want to win. I won the MVP, and individually, there's nothing really left but winning a championship.
"If that means I have to play for less money, it's all possible. It's all open.''
Those comments appeared in The Dallas Morning News on Dec. 23. Over the weekend, news broke that Nowitzki will, apparently, opt out of his deal to help secure a new contract for himself and allow owner Mark Cuban some financial flexibility to try to pursue a big fish in the free agent pool.
Just thought it was worth a reminder that this has been on Nowitzki's radar for a long, long time.
It's also noteworthy that, at the time, he also said this:
"That's still a long time away. Nobody's talked to me about extending or anything like that. I never really thought about it because we're in the midst of figuring this thing out.
"I've got two years and I don't want to throw these next two years away and say basically we're waiting on 2010 to get another player in. That's not how I want to look at these next two years. I still feel I'm in my prime and I don't want to just throw these next two years away.''
Well, in the big scheme of things, consider them thrown away.