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Dirk Nowitzki likes the new, quieter Mark Cuban

Mark Cubam

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban gestures before Game 3 of a second-round NBA playoff basketball series against the Los Angeles Lakers, Friday, May 6, 2011, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Kim Johnson Flodin)


Mark Cuban’s Dallas Mavericks swept the hated Lakers out of the playoffs in what was a cathartic experience for Cuban and Mavericks fans.

Yet he said nothing. He almost didn’t speak to the media and there was no gloating. No jabs at Phil Jackson. Which had to be hard for him.

But Dirk Nowitzki, he kind of likes this new owner, he told the Star-Telegram.

“Yeah, it should be about the players and not the owner,” Nowitzki said. “We played a great series. We fought hard and battled. That was fun. I haven’t seen Mark since then, and that’s probably a good thing.”

Cuban isn’t being quiet around the team, he is still on the sidelines and still vocal and demonstrative. He’s just not starting any little dust ups through the media.

“He is still fired up,” Nowitzki said. “He is still such a huge fan. He is still in it with his heart. He is positive. Sometimes he yells. He picks his spots better. He is not as hands-on as he once was. He is still hands-on for an owner but not as hands-on as he used to be.”

Cuban has admitted he has mellowed a little, since he had a family and a child. Maybe that has something to do with it.

But if the Mavericks reach the NBA finals, and face the Heat, and Bennett Salvatore gets assigned to officiate a game… that will be the true test.