There's at least one German team that Dirk Nowitzki won't play for if this lockout threatens to gnaw away at the 2011-12 NBA season.
Dallas Mavericks fans can rest easy now that the president of Bayern Munich of the Bundesliga has denied a report that the Bavarian club would try to woo Nowitzki, who is in his Bavarian hometown of Wurzburg at this moment, in the case of a lockout.
"The news was not serious," said president Uli Hoeness, whose club did recently sign Notre Dame guard Ben Hansbrough, the younger brother of Indiana Pacers forward and former North Carolina star Tyler Hansbrough.
So, now that we know Bayern Munich will keep their mitts off Dirk, there remains the question of the Finals MVP's strong desire to help a next-generation German national team qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London.
Nowitzki has stated his passion for the Games and a yearning to carry his younger countrymen to the promised land of international competition. Dirk has also said that a deep playoff run would make him seriously mull not playing simply because of the wear-and-tear. He did just turn 33 after all.
Germany must finish among the top six of the 24 teams at the EuroBasket tournament in Lithuania on August 31 - September 18 to be eligible to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. Dirk hasn't played for Germany since the 2008 Olympics, an experience he's called among the highlights of his career along with winning his first NBA title in 13 seasons last month.
But, with the lockout now here and pessimism plentiful that the NBA season will not start on time, if at all, does it change Dirk's perspective?
On a June 22 radio appearance on ESPN 103.3's Ben and Skin Show, Nowitzki said he would have to weigh rest against his desire to lead his country's Olympic quest once again. He said he would make his decision in a couple of weeks. So, the clock is ticking.
"I basically told them I was going to rejoin them and help them get to the Olympics one more time," Nowitzki said on the show. "I made my dream, going to the Olympics, and a lot of the team is new now. We've got a lot of young guys and they haven't been there. A lot of the old guys basically retired after the last Olympic run, so I told them I was going to help a lot of the young guys reach their dream as well.
"That was my goal the last three years, obviously not knowing that [the Mavericks] would be playing until mid-June. I was hoping, but you never know."
Dirk, celebrated this week as a conquering hero in his hometown, will have roughly a month-and-a-half of down time (or at least in terms of non-basketball activities) from winning the title in mid-June to lacing up his sneaks for practices with the German national team in early August. By the time September rolls around, Dirk might find he's ready to ball again against international competition and use the tournament as a training ground for whenever the NBA season gets underway.
Or, he might just find the lure of another shot at Olympic glory too great to pass up.