By Eddie Sefko, Dallas Morning News and Ft worth Star Telegram Basketball writer:
Since Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks had an agreement that he wouldn't play international ball this summer, he's making the most of the down time by going to South Africa as part of the NBA's Basketball Without Borders program.
It's a great trip, one that Nowitzki will draw a lot of powerful experiences from, not to mention plenty of memories.
He might also be able to conduct some business while he's down there.
Guess who else is on the trip?
What better time for Bosh and Dirk to hang out, spread goodwill, learn about the good and the bad of the greater Johannesburg area and, just maybe, talk about the possibilities of playing together in a year or less.
Both are free agents after this season and if Nowitzki opts out and then re-signs at a lower salary-cap number, the Mavericks might still be able to swing a deal for Bosh, although he is happy playing in Toronto. The Dallas native certainly would be open to talks about returning home.
So we're putting this one on Dirk. Chat up Bosh during this trip. You never know what kind of benefits it might reap down the line.
Now, check this out:
Beijing hoops camp a learning experience
BEIJING -- It's too bad the latest labor pact between NBA owners and players already has been decided, because it doesn't include a vital element: Mandatory participation for everyone in an overseas basketball camp. If the two sides understood what is to be gained -- not just given -- in such camps, players and owners alike would agree to such a provision in a heartbeat and be embarrassed for not having thought of it sooner. "If you ever made everyone do one of these camps, at least half would want to do it again," said Philadelphia 76ers small forward Kyle Korver, who spent July 14-17 here as an instructor in the league's first Asian Basketball Without Borders camp. "How could you not, after what we saw?"
|The trip to Beijing was an eye-opening experience for the 76ers' Samuel Dalembert.|
Yesterday, someone asked me who I am
I simply did not want to answer, because I was afraid
Afraid that the city kids would laugh at me Our parents send us to school
Staying silent all the way
Eyes on their pushcart, mud staining their pants Our school is small
Our classroom is dark
But we do our assignments
And our grades are good Today, someone asked me who I am
I answered back loud and clear
I am the child of migrant workers
China's doll; the Motherland's flower.
"I've never seen anything like this," says Korver, who grew up in small-town Iowa and attended Creighton. His previous foray outside the U.S. was a vacation last summer in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. If the culture shock caused less of an impact on the other NBA players working the camp, it's only because they all came to the NBA from elsewhere -- Dalembert from Haiti, Bostjan Nachbar from Slovenia, Tony Parker from France and Yao Ming from China.
|Yao Ming, a humbled superstar.|