Tuesday , Oct , 27 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Mark Cuban: Dirk Nowitzki’s Numbers Will Go Down this Year

Mark Cuban made the proclamation on the first day of training camp that fans will see a different Dirk Nowitzki this season, and not just because he hasn’t had a haircut since the Olympic rings were shaved into his scalp in Beijing.

"I promise you Dirk’s numbers will drop this year," the owner said. "Dirk’s numbers go down when he has confidence in the rest of his team and he doesn’t have to score."

Of all the things Nowitzki has done in his career, proving that less is more is still on the to-do list. History indicates it might be the best thing that could happen to him and the Mavericks.

The last two NBA champions have featured superstars whose numbers dropped precipitously from previous seasons. They were surrounded by better talent and therefore deferred more often, scored less and won big. It happened with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers and with Kevin Garnett and the Celtics.