Dirk Nowitzki was in unchartered territory after the Mavericks won the NBA title last year.
"I didn't know what to expect," Nowitzki said. "I know one thing changed, and that was my motivation was gone for a little bit. And I really had to fight to get it back and get the fun back."
Nowitzki said a combination of last season’s run to the championship, followed by playing for Germany in the Olympic qualifying tournament left him with little recovery time.
"Now I reached both goals, and it was just hard in the beginning," he said. "The Euros came too quick, right after the [NBA] championship. I only had, like, a month off. I needed more time to get away and enjoy the championship. If I would have had a couple months off to enjoy it, party, get everything out of the way, then start slowly back up -- that would have been the way to go. But I decided to play, to try my best, and we didn't qualify, unfortunately."
Nowitzki has come on after a slow start, averaging 25 points and 9.6 rebounds over his last five games.
"Now I'm as fiery as I ever was," he said. "I'm out there moving well again and feel good."