Dirk gets to guard LeBron

DALLAS -- West coach George Karl greeted Dirk Nowitzki with an interesting way of confirming that the Mavs' star would take Kobe Bryant's place in the starting lineup.

"Good luck," Karl said, "you've got LeBron to start."

Dirk's reply: "Oh, sweet."

Dirk has some memorable defensive All-Star history against LeBron. King James threw down a ferocious dunk on Dirk in the All-Star game a couple of years ago. To Dirk's credit, he at least put forth a legit defensive effort on the play, perhaps not so wisely.