Jagla: Fantastic If Dirk Returns To Europe

18 February 2011

Labor disputes are bad news for professional leagues, and the NBA knows it only too well.

When the owners locked out the players during the 1998-99 campaign, there were no dunks or three-pointers in the elite competition until February 5, after the sides agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement.

5. Heiko Schaffartzik (Germany), 15. Jan-Hendrik Jagla (Germany)
"It will be great news all around if Dirk Nowitzki comes back to play in Europe," believes Jan-Hendrik Jagla (Germany)

That meant the teams did not have an 82 regular-season games, but 50.

There was no All-Star Game and some teams didn't meet each other at all.

Fans were upset at owners, and players.

Another lockout could be on the way, one that would disrupt next season.

There is talk that some players, however, would not remain idle but sign deals to play in Europe.

One that might come back to Europe would be Dirk Nowitzki of Germany.

If that were to happen, his international teammate Jan Jagla says the impact on the game on the old continent would be huge.

And if he played in his native Germany?

"It would be madness if Dirk would play in the Bundesliga," Jagla said in an interview with

"But even if he were to play elsewhere in Europe, he would revive the interest in basketball again."

There is enormous fan interest in Germany cities where there are teams, but not as much media attention as basketball fans and teams would like.

"I also think that the Euroleague is undervalued, for example, in Germany," said Jagla, who has played in the competition before.

"Even if Dirk were to go to Panathinaikos, for Germany it would be an absolute spectacle."

Jagla touched on another subject, that of the German national team.

Dirk Bauermann is the national team coach but is also at the helm of FC Bayern, who are competing in the German second division with the aim of winning promotion.

In their first 20 games, Bauermann's FC Bayern, which has national team players Steffen Haman and Demond Greene, had just one defeat.

A coach is not supposed to be at the helm of a top-flight club and the national team, but the German Basketball Federation has given a thumbs-up for an exception if FC Bayern win promotion. The league has yet to indicate if Bauermann would be allowed to do both, however.

"I do not see big problems," Jagla said.

"I think the pool of German national players is not so huge that we now have to say that the national team coach must be responsible for traveling around and watch 40 to 50 players.

"I think it's very clear which players have the quality to be nominated for this team."

As for Germany's chances in Lithuania this summer when they take on Israel, Italy, France, Serbia and Latvia in Group B?

"The group is very difficult to predict," Jagla said. "All the teams can be very strong."



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