Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki said he wanted to play in Europe if there was an NBA work stoppage next season, but the German knows it could be a complicated proposition.
Before I sit around for a year, I would want to play somewhere, the former NBA Most Valuable Player told ESPN after Monday's 102-92 victory over the Washington Wizards.
Nowitzki said there may be legal hurdles to playing abroad should NBA owners, currently in negotiations with the players' union on a new labor deal, impose a lockout this summer.
It's all a lot of speculation at this point, Nowitzki said. I don't even know if it's going to be legally possible (to play elsewhere during a lockout).
Russian-born Utah Jazz forward Andrei Kirilenko and Milwaukee Bucks guard Brandon Jennings, who played in Italy before starting his NBA career, are among other prominent NBA players who have said they would look to Europe if there was not a new collective bargaining agreement.
An agreement between the NBA and FIBA, the sport's international governing body, prohibits players contracted to an NBA club from transferring to a European team but the players' union could argue in court that NBA contracts are not valid during a work stoppage.
Right now, we're trying to make a run at a championship, Nowitzki, a sweet-shooting big forward who has been an NBA All-Star in each of the last nine seasons. That's all I'm really focused on.
The German newspaper Bild has reported that three teams in Germany were already angling to sign Nowitzki -- Alba Berlin, Bayern Munich and Brose Baskets Bamburg.
Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was agitated by questions about Nowitzki taking his game back to Europe.
It's still hypothetical, Cuban told ESPN. (There's) nothing stupider than discussing hypotheticals about hypotheticals.