Dallas Mavericks Getting Inside 2009-10-08

Dirk Nowitzki went through the hardest offseason of his career and it had nothing to do with basketball. The very public breakup with his ex-fiancee, including her subsequent incarceration and pregnancy claims, took a toll on the Mavericks' franchise player.

"I was really not the kind of guy that walked around trusting everybody, anyways, but it still happened," Nowitzki said. "It is what it is. I'm not going to change who I am.

"I always have fun with people. I like being around people here and there. I don't know if it's going to change me a lot. Obviously my goal is still to have family here sooner or later. I better start trusting somebody soon."

Cristal Taylor was arrested at Nowitzki's home during the Western Conference semifinals with Denver. He somehow managed to block out the turmoil, averaging better than 34 points and 11 rebounds in the five-game loss.

"It showed me that I'm mentally tougher than a lot of people think," Nowitzki said. "I played through that, I played through injuries and I always felt like I was pretty tough. I might not be the most physically tough player, but mentally I'm right up there."

Nowitzki didn't pick up a basketball for nine weeks after the season ended and for the first time in his NBA career didn't play for the German national team this summer. He took a family vacation in Greece and was part of the NBA-sponsored camp in South Africa.

He also learned in early September that pregnancy tests proved Taylor wasn't carrying his child.

"The news a couple weeks ago helped," Nowitzki said. "I think with the kid it would have been a tough situation to handle, but I'm sure I would have made it somehow. But now this way it's best for everyone involved. I'm looking forward to finally moving on and concentrating on basketball again, and just doing the things that I love to do."

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: October 8, 2009