German national team coach Dirk Bauermann has admitted he is a bit more skeptical than he had been that Dirk Nowitzki may not play at EuroBasket 2011 in Lithuania.
“My hopes are a bit dampened. The fact that Dirk has still not made a decision by now shows that he is having a very tough time,” Bauermann told the German Press Agency dpa.
“His break was just damn short. You have to understand if he were to say it just wouldn’t work out,” said Bauermann.
Bauermann will leave for Germany’s first training camp in preparation for EuroBasket 2011 on Saturday.
Before the Dallas Mavericks had reached the NBA finals, Nowitzki had assured German basketball fans that he would play in Lithuania. But Nowitzki’s season did not end until June 12 when Dallas claimed their first NBA crown.
Germany will be facing Serbia, Italy, France, Israel and Latvia in Group B of the EuroBasket from August 31 to September 18.
The top two finishers in the tournament claim automatic berths to the 2012 Olympics while the next four will play in the pre-Olympic qualifying tournament.
Bauermann said he had been in contact with Los Angeles Clippers center Chris Kaman but he had not yet made a decision either. Kaman is believed to only play in Lithuania if Nowitzki also plays.