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Nowitzki decides to play for Mavs

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Dirk Nowitzki, a 6-foot-11 German basketball star, said today he will play for the Dallas Mavericks next season rather than continuing to play in Europe.

Nowitzki, who had said earlier said would need two more seasons before he was ready for the NBA, was drafted ninth overall by Milwaukee last week, then traded to Dallas. Mavericks officials flew to Germany the next day to try to recruit him.Nowitzki arrived in Dallas on Sunday, stayed at the home of coach-general manager Don Nelson, held a news conference Monday and attended a barbecue with prospective teammates that night. Another news conference was scheduled for today to discuss his decision.