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Nowitzki to skip world championships for Germany

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki will not play for Germany at next month's world championship in Turkey.

The German basketball federation said Tuesday that the nine-time All-Star would be back for the 2011 European Championship that will also serve as a qualifying tournament for the 2012 Olympics in London.

"Next summer I'd like to try with the team to make our common goal of playing at the Olympics," Nowitzki said in a statement published by the federation.

The announcement came shortly after the Mavericks signed the 32-year-old Nowitzki to a new contract, a deal reportedly worth over $80 million for four years.

"I signed a new contract in Dallas, where there are new conditions with a new team and I'd like to concentrate 100 percent this summer on the upcoming NBA season," the German federation quoted Nowitzki as saying.

The 12-year NBA veteran was the league's MVP in 2007. He became the 34th player in league history to reach 20,000 career points on Jan. 13 and ranks 27th among all-time scorers.