DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki's streak of appearances in All-Star Weekend has ended at 13 years in a row. So, too, has the Dallas Mavericks' forward streak of appearances in the All-Star game, which has ended at 11 years in a row.
But being the big picture man that he is, coach Rick Carlisle said it's time to pay homage to Nowitzki's many accomplishments.
"Even though I know he's disappointed that that streak ends, count up all the guys in the history of the league that has been an All-Star 11 straight years and you won't come up with a very big number,'' Carlisle said after this morning's shoot around at American Airlines Center. "There's been very few.
"I think it's time to take stock in what he's done and what he's accomplished. I expect next year he'll be back in the mix to be on the All-Star team.''
Nowitzki missed out on a chance for another All-Star appearance after his body betrayed him. The 34-year old underwent arthroscopic right knee surgery on Oct. 19, forcing him to miss this season's first 27 games and ending the chance he had at playing in this season's All-Star game, which will be held Feb. 17 in Houston.
Besides the All-Star game itself, Nowitzki participated in the Three-Point Shootout during All-Star Weekend in 2000, '01, '06 and '08. He won that event in Houston in 2006.
The Mavs, though, could be the big winners in Nowitzki's absence form the All-Star game, because now he'll have four extra days to rest his weary body and prepare for the stretch run of the NBA season.
"It'll be something new,'' Carlisle said. "It'll be something where he won't have the wear and tear of travel and those kinds of things, and hopefully it'll be a good situation for him.''
-- Dwain Price
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