USA Today

Dirk Nowitzki admits he has some jealousy of the Spurs

The San Antonio Spurs are the premier franchise in the NBA. Many teams try to emulate them but none come close to the Spurs’ winning ways.

Aside from a great front office, one of San Antonio’s key strengths is keeping teams in tact especially the core of Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker. Since the Duncan era, the team has rarely seen a complete overhaul of the roster or entertain any notion of breaking up their core three players.

Because of this, and the team’s ability to keep players together, the Spurs have gone on to win five NBA titles. Something that makes Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki a bit jealous.

Via Dallas

Is there any jealousy about the way that San Antonio has been able to keep everybody together?

Dirk Nowitzki: Yeah, it started way before Tyson (Chandler). When I first got here it was Fin, Nash and myself. The way it was going, we were starting to get better and better; we made the playoffs every year. I literally figured we were going to stay together the rest of our careers and have fun doing it and hopefully win some championships. But you learn pretty quick that it’s a business in this league as well. We couldn’t keep Steve, or we didn’t want to keep Steve, and I think Fin was gone I think a year or two after that. You gotta admit that San Antonio, what they’ve been doing over such a long period of time, is pretty impressive. They’re amazing.

Dallas has had major roster moves during the Dirk era. From Nash leaving to the Suns, Finley joining the Spurs to help win the title in 2007, coaching changes (Avery Johnson to Rick Carlisle), Chandler leaving to the Knicks to Jason Terry joining the Nets, the Mavs just have not surrounded Dirk with consistent rosters to help develop chemistry which in turn, leads to on the court success.

Not to say the Spurs haven’t seen their fair share of roster moves but at the core, their “Big 3” remain in tact and has paid off well. It lends to a culture in San Antonio, an on the court presence for the new players on the squad looking to the Spurs veterans for help, and of course Gregg Popovich remaining the head coach despite postseason disappointment before the 2014 NBA title.

A trio of Nowitzki, Nash and Finley would have been nice for Dallas but in the end, their front office didn’t have the foresight to keep them together for the long haul.

And now with a fifth title in franchise history under their belt, Nowitzki and the Mavs have one more thing to be jealous about when it comes to their in-state rival.