Dirk Nowitzki to play for Germany

FRANKFURT, Germany -- Dirk Nowitzki says he will play for Germany at the upcoming European Championship when Olympic berths will be at stake.

"Gonna represent my country at euro championship this summer," Nowitzki said Friday via Twitter. "Should be fun. Gotta start training again next week. Back in germany now."

The Dallas Mavericks forward says the break after the NBA Finals was brief, but he'd "like to help the young German team have success."

Nowitzki led the Mavericks to the NBA championship over the Miami Heat and was named the series MVP.

Teammate Jason Terry, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Friday's Rangers-Blue Jays game, said he "cringed" when he heard Nowitzki was going to play for the German National team. But Terry added he understands why Nowitzki made the decision.

"I cringed when I heard it. ... At this stage of his career, he's looking at doing something great for his country," Terry said. "We're going to support him."

Nowitzki will be joined by Los Angeles Clippers big man Chris Kaman, who also committed to the team.

The European Championship is Aug. 31-Sept. 18 in Lithuania. The two finalists qualify for the 2012 Olympics in London. Germany is in a group with France, Italy, Serbia, Latvia and Israel.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.