DALLAS -- Stop the presses! Stop the presses!
For the first time in what seems like forever, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki has NOT been named the preseason pick by the NBA's general managers as the best international player in the league.
San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker was the GM's pick as the top international player in a poll conducted by NBA.com and whose results were released Tuesday. Parker received 53 percent of the votes, Memphis center Marc Gasol was second (26 percent) and Nowitzki finished third (20 percent).
Nowitzki, who also got some votes as one of the league's best pure shooters, was voted the best international player last year when he hauled in a whopping 72 percent of the votes. Nowitzki, in addition, received votes this year by the general managers as one of the players they would want taking a shot with the game on the line.
Elsewhere, Mavs coach Rick Carlisle (24.1 percent) wound up second behind Spurs coach Gregg Popovich (27.6 percent) as the coach who makes the best in-game adjustments. Popovich also was named the NBA's best coach, while Carlisle also received some votes as the head coach who runs the best offense.
Oklahoma point guard Russell Westbrook, meanwhile, was named the league's fastest player while dribbling the basketball.
In addition, the general managers gave the Miami Heat a 75.9 percent chance at winning the NBA championship, while the Spurs (40 percent) were picked to win the Western Conference. Meanwhile, Heat forward LeBron James was voted the Most Valuable Player and the player the general managers would pick to start a franchise.
Mavs rookie Shane Larkin, picked 18th overall in the June NBA Draft, garnered some attention from the GMs. Larkin received some votes in two categories -- which rookie will be the best player in five years, and which rookie was the biggest steal at where he was selected in the draft.
-- Dwain Price
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