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Dallas Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki has conceded that he regrets calling Kirk Hinrich’s play on Tuesday night one of the “dumber fouls I’ve ever seen”.
Hinrich committed a critical foul late in regulation which allowed Monta Ellis to sink three free throws to tie the game and send it to overtime. The Bulls eventually lost to the Mavs after double OT.
The Bulls guard himself admitted that it was a “bonehead play” but Nowitzki has admitted that he could have phrased his comments better when speaking about one of his friends in the league.
“I didn’t mean to put my man Kirk on the spot like that, because he’s a good dude,” Nowitzki said Wednesday night.
“He’s a hard-nosed player. He made two 3s right before that actually to put them in position to win, so I have nothing but respect for Kirk Hinrich. I didn’t mean to really get it out like that.
“I feel bad for saying it. I should have maybe phrased it different, maybe say it wasn’t the smartest play I’ve ever seen. I mean, he knows. Kirk’s been around for a long, long time and has been a great pro in this league. You think of a play like that, you think more of a younger guy fouling that late, but we’ll take it. We got very fortunate to come back and win.”
Hinrich spoke about the foul again after Wednesday night’s win over the Charlotte Hornets, a game in which he played a critical role again but for more positive reasons with six of his 12 points coming in the fourth quarter to ensure the Bulls secured a 102-95 win.
The NBA veteran admitted that he hadn’t heard Nowitzki’s comments but he added that he couldn’t argue with them as it was indeed a dumb play but he wanted to move forward and do better in the future.