BERLIN - Germany's basketball star Dirk Nowitzki has joked that he feels too old to slam dunk after his Dallas Mavericks labored to an 89-84 win over Euroleague side Alba Berlin in an exhibition game here.
The 34-year-old power forward finished with eight points from Saturday's match at Berlin's sold-out O2 World in front of 14,000 fans as the Mavericks use their European tour to prepare for the start of the NBA season this month.
Nowitzki helped seal the Mavericks win with two free throws with 11 seconds left on the clock, but admitted he had messed up a slamdunk attempt earlier in the game.
"Right at the end, the knee buckled a bit, so I didn't get high enough to hang in the air. That was a bit embarrassing, I think I am too old to dunk," he quipped.
After leading the Mavericks to the 2011 NBA title, when he was voted the most valuable player in the finals, Nowitzki has cult figure status in Germany having spent nearly 15 years in the NBA.
"The hype has been big and it was nice to see the people so happy about the Mavericks coming to Germany," he said.
"It was great to see people waiting for us at the hotel, who had even rolled out the red carpet.
"It has been a busy three days, but it has been a great trip."
Having had their first week of training camp, the Mavericks now move onto play FC Barcelona on Tuesday with six warm-up games planned in the USA before they open the NBA season against the LA Lakers on October 30.
"The play-offs are our minimum goal, then we must look and see how things go," said Nowitzki.
"After our game in Barcelona on Tuesday, we still have 20 days left until the opening game.
"We have to stay loose, pull together and we'll improve even further."
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