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Mavericks' rise tied to Nowitzki's

Updated: February 11, 2010, 8:32 PM ET
By Tim MacMahon | ESPNDallas.com

DALLAS -- Dirk Nowitzki often wanders out to the American Airlines Center court to taunt the man who signs his paychecks.

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban likes to jack up jump shots a couple of hours before home games begin. Cuban hears the same thing every time his superstar interrupts the owner's shooting session.

"I built this place!" Nowitzki hollers. "This is the house that Dirk built!"

It's pretty rare to catch Cuban at a loss for words. But the brash billionaire ...

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