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 iously that Ive wanted to be here last couple years, said Nowitzki, who would join Kobe Bryant as the only players to NBA histor

DALLAS --?Dirk Nowitzki plans to play at least two more seasons for the Dallas Mavericks. Thats not a promise, however.I always said I wanted to kind of take it year by year, Nowitzki said Thursday while promoting a celebrity tennis event he will host Sunday at SMU. But signing a two-year deal doesnt mean I necessarily have to play those two years. I think well see how next year goes, how the body responds, and then well make that decision again next year. But obviously, I would love to play the next two years and then just see how it goes.By that point Im turning 40, and thats already up there in age for the NBA, so well just have to wait and see how the body responds next two years.Nowitzki, the sixth-leading scorer in NBA history, got a significant raise when he re-signed with the Mavs this summer after opting out of the final season of his hometown-discount deal, which would have paid him $8.7 million this season.Nowitzki never gave serious consideration to leaving Dallas, the only NBA home he ever intends to have, and originally agreed to a two-year, $40 million. He ended up with a $50 million deal after Mavs owner Mark Cuban insisted on paying the longtime face of the franchise more, although only $5 million is guaranteed in the second season.Hes been incredibly loyal to me, and Ive shown obviously that Ive wanted to be here last couple years, said Nowitzki, who would join Kobe Bryant as the only players to NBA history to play 20 seasons with only one franchise if he completes the contract. And I think he wanted to reward me in a way. It makes me obviously feel great and feel wanted. Im happy that I can finish my career here in Dallas, where I always wanted to be, and hopefully finish strong the last couple of years. Cheap Montreal Canadiens Jerseys . -- The Sacramento Kings are set to become the first major professional sports franchise to accept Bitcoin virtual currency for ticket and merchandise purchases. Cheap Pittsburgh Penguins Jerseys . Anthony Calvillo, through 20 CFL seasons, was frequently invincible and largely stoic in the heat of competition. But underneath the professional exterior he was, and is, compellingly human. . Brandon Morrow allowed five runs on six hits over three innings. He struck out two, walked one and hit a batter. Edwin Encarnacion had a two-out, bases loaded two-RBI double in the third inning. Cheap NHL Jerseys China . -- Ty Montgomery had 290 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns, and fifth-ranked Stanford held on to beat No. Cheap Detroit Red Wings Jerseys . - Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie never doubted he would bring back coach Dennis Allen for a third year despite back-to-back 4-12 records. NEW YORK -- If this is how Serena Williams serves when she cant practice properly because her right shoulder is sore, watch out when shes 100 percent healthy.A year after falling two wins short of a calendar-year Grand Slam by bowing out in the US Open semifinals, Williams showed zero signs of shoulder trouble on Tuesday night as she began her bid for a record-breaking 23rd major title.She hit 12 aces and reached 121 mph on her powerful serve during a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Ekaterina Makarova, a potentially tricky first-round opponent at Flushing Meadows.I was pleased with my serve, because I havent been hitting a lot of serves at all, the 34-year-old Williams said. In practice, none of them were going in, so I was definitely excited about that.Since equaling Steffi Grafs mark for most Grand Slam singles trophies in the Open era, which dates to 1968, by earning No. 22 at Wimbledon in July, the No. 1-ranked Williams had entered only one event -- the Rio de Janeiro Olympics, where she was upset in the third round. She cited a sore shoulder in withdrawing from a hard-court tournament a week later.She looked perfectly fine against Makarova, a two-time Grand Slam semifinalist who is ranked 29th. Makarova beat Williams in straight sets at the 2012 Australian Open.I knew today I needed to be focused, because Ive played her, Williams said of Makarova. Shes gotten to the semifinals. She goes deep in majors. She knows how to play big matches on big courts. Shes not intimidated. I knew I had to really come out today. It was my only option, really.Well, consider that done.Wearing black sleeves on each arm -- she called the accessories definitely functional, because they keep my muscles warm -- Williams averaged 108 mph on first serves and won 17 of the first 20 points she served, 36 of 46 overall, never appearing to be the least bit bothered by anything.And she even figured that maybe the time she couldnt spend serving during training sessions paid off, in a way, because she was forced to address other aspects of her game, including footwork.I couldnt hit any balls. I wanted to stay fit, so ... I guess that kind of helped me out a little bit, she said.In 2015, Williams arrived at the US Open having won four consecutive major titles for a self-styled Serena Slam. But had she also won the championship in New York, she would have made it 4-for-4 within a single season, something no one had done since Graf in 1988.But that pursuit ended with a surprising semifinal loss to Roberta Vinci of Italy.Later, Williams acknowledged what was at stake had been a burden.Williams was asked Tuesday whether this edition of the US Open might be a more pleasant experience than a year ago, without the same sort of history on the line.I had a great experience last year.dddddddddddd I was going for something that no one has done in a really long time, she replied. Yeah, it didnt end out wonderful for me, or the way I wanted it to end, but it was all I could do. Thats all I could do. If I could make the semis this year, Id be excited about that.Meanwhile, her sister?Venus Williams needed three sets to win her 18th first-round match at the US Open.She defeated Kateryna Kozlova of Ukraine 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, despite 63 unforced errors, and improved to 18-0 in the Opens first round. Only Chris Evert (19-0) has a better record in the first round in the Open era, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.?She led 5-2 in the third set, but the 22-year-old Kozlova pushed her to the limit in the 2-hour, 42-minute match.It was great to be challenged and to be pushed, said the 36-year-old Venus Williams, a two-time US Open champion, because I had to get in those situations that you know youre going to face in the tournament.She next faces?Julia Goerges, who defeated Yanina Wickmayer 6-3, 6-2.Also on the womens side,?Simona Halep gave herself less than nine for her quick work against Kirsten Flipkens.The Romanian was ahead 6-0, 5-0, with countrywoman Nadia Comaneci cheering her on. Comaneci was the first gymnast to score a perfect 10 at the 1976 Montreal Olympics.Halep, the fifth seed, was unable to complete the double bagel, however, as she wound up winning 6-0, 6-2.Halep said she wasnt perfect, but she was pleased with her play against the Belgian. She got 69 percent of her first serves in and won 12 of 15 points at the net.Halep, who reached the semifinals of the US Open last year, will next face Lucie Safarova, a 6-4, 6-4 winner over Daria Gavrilova.In other matches,?Ana Ivanovic?tumbled out of the US Open in the first round for the second straight year after a 7-6 (4), 6-1 loss to Denisa Allertova of the Czech Republic.A former No. 1 player who has slipped to 31st in the rankings, Ivanovic was serving for the first set at 6-5 but struggled with her serve and faltered in the tiebreaker. The 2008 French Open champion finished with seven double faults and 41 unforced errors.At the US Open, Ivanovic has reached the fourth round or better five times, including a career-best quarterfinal run in 2012.Meanwhile, 2011 US Open champion?Samantha Stosur?advanced with a 7-5, 6-7 (4), 6-1 win over Camila Giorgi, who had an ace to win the second-set tiebreaker.Stosur, however, streaked out to a 4-0 lead in the deciding set and next will face Zhang Shuai, who defeated Ellen Perez 6-1, 6-1.The Associated Press contributed to this report. 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jj009, 18.11.2018 10:34
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