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The Agence France-Presse, for which I worked briefly during my extended stay in Paris during the 1920s and '30s, has a story this afternoon about how badly Dirk Nowitzki wants to stay a Dallas Maverick, to the point where he'd like to get his contract extended till 2011. Nowitzki's in Japan at the moment, playing in the FIBA World Championship with the German team, and he told the news agency, "I am banking on signing [an extension] before the start of the new season," even though he currently has two years left on his current contract. "I feel great in Dallas. The coach suits the team, the environment is good, it's an ideal situation for me and the team has also been improved for our attack on next season." (By the way, Dirk faces Dwyane Wade Wednesday in the quarterfinals, when Germany takes on Team USA; 20 bucks Wade wins this one too.) The story also mentions the price tag: Dallas, it says, "would have to fork out 59 million dollars to secure the German's signature for an extra three years." Weird. You can get it on eBay for nine bucks right now and keep it for a lifetime. --Robert Wilonsky