Mark Cuban says he plans to keep star Dirk Nowitzki even though the Dallas Mavericks have their worst record since a few months after he bought the team in 2000.
Cuban said before Saturday night's game against Memphis that he wanted to be clear with Nowitzki that he was committed "through thick and thin" to getting the team back in contention.
Dallas recently fell 10 games under .500 for the first time since Nowitzki's second season in 1999-2000. Since then, the Mavericks have made the playoffs 12 straight years and won the title in 2011.
Nowitzki has a no-trade clause in his four-year, $80 million contract that expires after the 2013-14 season. The no-trade gives him the right to veto any trade, but he repeatedly has said that he intends to retire as a Maverick.
The Mavericks are playing with a revamped roster for the second straight season after Cuban decided not to bring back several key players from the championship team.
"I told Dirk we're not going to trade him. He was happy. I think," Cuban said, laughing. "I wanted to make it clear to him. I said, 'We're in this through thick and thin,' and so there's no way I would trade him, no matter what."