|24 October 2011|
BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Dirk Nowitzki is in the US, Pau Gasol is going back, but they are both monitoring the lockout situation and keeping their options open |
Dirk Nowitzki and the Gasol brothers, Pau and Marc, are three of Europe's top exports to the NBA and right now, they're not playing basketball because of the lockout.
The NBA owners shut down league operations on 1 July following the expiration of the old collective bargaining agreement (CBA).
Just how long Nowitzki and the Gasols continue to sit on the sidelines and hope for an end to the lockout remains to be seen.
Many a EuroBasket star like Tony Parker, Nicolas Batum, Boris Diaw and Ronny Turiaf have signed for clubs back home in France, while Rudy Fernandez, who is supposed to be one of Nowitzki's teammates in Dallas this season, is playing for Real Madrid.
The players will go back to the NBA once the lockout ends.
Nowitzki was in action at the weekend, but not playing basketball.
He threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 3 of baseball's World Series in Texas, where the Rangers were playing the St Louis Cardinals.
The German is idolized in Dallas after leading the leading the Mavericks to their first NBA crown earlier this year.
He has received plenty of offers to compete in Europe but so far, hasn't signed.
Last week, there were three days of lengthy negotiations with a federal mediator trying to help the NBA team owners and players find common ground in their aim for a new CBA but the talks were unsuccessful.
Nowitzki, after throwing the first pitch, said: "We were all hoping that with the mediator something was going to happen.
"Just talks broke off, so it's very unfortunate.
"We'll see. Hopefully we can get something going here any time soon, but it doesn't look good."
When asked if he might play overseas, Nowitzki said: "If there is no settlement, I'll go back home any time soon and probably start training with my coach again and really get back in the routine.
"And then you've got to keep your options open, maybe see what's going on overseas.
"If the lockout still stays strong, then I've definitely got to look into something there in January, February."
The Gasol brothers, meanwhile, had been training with Barcelona.
Pau Gasol has decided to return to the United States.
He announced on his website: "I´m on my way to Los Angeles and I´m going to spend some days in the city.
"I´m looking forward to seeing my friends and following closely the lockout negotiations. I´ll keep you updated!"
Serge Ibaka, who played this summer for Spain and had five very important blocks in the Final against France, has been linked in the media with Real Madrid.