NEW ORLEANS _ He may be the face of the Dallas Mavericks’ franchise, and his voice may carry a lot of weight. But Dirk Nowitzki couldn’t talk the Mavs’ brass out of sitting him down for four games.
The Mavs have watched Nowitzki struggle mightily just to get up and down the floor. He even admits that he can’t blow by defenders like he used to, and that he basically is out of shape.
So when Carlisle told Nowitzki he was going to be sidelined for four games, all Nowitzki could do was basically listen and take the sobering news in stride.
“He had no choice,’’ Carlisle said after tonight’s 83-81 win over the New Orleans Hornets. “There was no negotiating on that one.’’
Carlisle and his staff will put Nowitzki through a mini-boot camp. It started with workouts on Saturday at the New Orlenas Arena and will continue even when Nowitzki misses home games this week against Phoenix, Minnesota and Utah.
“The important thing to realize is this is not a rest week, this is a work week,’’ Carlisle said. “We’re going to get some of these minor issues resolved and we’ve got to get him back to where he needs to be.’’
Nowitzki, who sat out tonight's game against the Hornets, joked that his game is so uneven that the Mavs wanted to send him to Frisco to play for the Texas Legends of the D-League. He added that after playing for Germany in the Euro games last summer, he waited too late to take his customary two months off to rest his body.
Nowitzki said: “Usually by that time it’s in September I’m working out and getting ready for the season.’’
Asked if the Mavs were fearful Nowitzki could have injured himself more severely had he kept playing, Carlisle said: “This is something we have to do right now and I’d rather just leave it at that.
“At this point it’s pretty obvious that we need to take this period of time and he’s got to work hard, and he will.’’
-- Dwain Price
Follow me on Twitter