Posted by Royce Young
Qualifying for the 2012 Olympics in London starts next month in Lithuania, and the German team might be getting a boost -- a boost from a NBA champion and Finals MVP, in fact.
Dirk Nowitzki told Spiegel Online International that he wants to play for his native Germany in the qualifying tournament.
"It looks that way, assuming that I finally get healthy," Nowitzki said. "I have been carrying a flu bug around with me for four weeks. It makes no sense to play in the European championships if I am only halfway healthy; neither for me nor for my teammates."
That's cool news and all, Dirk, but wait a second: You've had the flu for the past month? I guess that whole being sick thing was no joke. (You hear that Wade and LeBron?)
But Dirk's reason for wanting to play for his home country is simple: He wants to make sure the Germans are actually in the London Games in 2012.
"And that's why I definitely want to play," Nowitzki said. "I don't want to ruin the others' chances of participating in the Olympics. To qualify, we have to finish at least sixth at the European championships."
Obviously if Germany were to qualify, Dirk would play in the Olympics, but you've got to get there first. As he said, Germany needs to finish sixth at the European championships, which they have a good chance of doing.