Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban always knew Dirk Nowitzki would stay

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Dwyane Wade shocked the NBA this summer when he departed the Miami Heat for his hometown franchise of the Chicago Bulls when smart money would have suggested he would finish his career on South Beach.

Kevin Durant switched from the Oklahoma City Thunder to the Golden State Warriors after nine years of service with the only franchise he has ever known.

So the question begged: are there any Kobe Bryant's left? Are there any Dirk Nowitzki's left?

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They spent their entire careers with only one franchise and there appear to be precious few seasoned pros prepared to do the same in this day and age.

However, Dirk Nowitzki is the exception to that trend. The Dallas Mavericks stalwart has been with the franchise for 18 years and has just signed on for another two.

As a free agent this summer, there was some speculation that the Golden State Warriors might pursue the 38-year-old if their pursuit of Durant proved fruitless.

However, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban told the Boston Globe there was never even the slightest doubt he would leave.

"Dirk wasn't going anywhere," Cuban said. "Dirk and Dallas, Dallas and Dirk, they're synonymous. I understand and respect why D-Wade did what he did but there was never any doubt [about Nowitzki staying in Dallas], Dirk gets what Dirk wants."

Dallas gave the 38-year-old power forward a two-year, $40 million deal this summer, all but assuring Nowitzki will play his entire career with the Mavericks.

The German had taken several contracts below his market value previously in order for the Mavericks to compete. After leading them to the NBA title in 2011 and winning the MVP award in 2007, Nowitzki will certainly go down as one of the great power forwards of all-time.

Tim Duncan
San Antonio Spurs
Southwest Division
Western Conference
Dallas Mavericks
Kobe Bryant
L.A. Lakers
Pacific Division
Dirk Nowitzki

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