Germany's Dirk Nowitzki is putting together an MVP-type season for the Dallas Mavericks, ranking third in the NBA in scoring, averaging 26.9 points, and ninth in rebounding, pulling down an average of 9.9 per game. The seven-footer has scored at least 20 points in all but five of the games he has played in this season, including 17 games of 30-plus points after only 12 games of 30 or more in all of 2003-04.

We caught up to Nowitzki in Denver and asked him a few of your questions. Here's what he had to say:

Q: Congratulations on being named an All-Star for the fourth time! Looking back on your 3 previous All-Star weekends, what do you think is the greatest part of an All-Star experience? Any great moments you'll remember for the rest of your life?
(Zhen from Hangzhou, China)

Dirk played tennis and European handball growing up.
Jennifer Pottheiser/NBAE/Getty Images
Nowitzki: Well, I watched every All-Star game since I was 13. I would get up late at night to watch. All of them were great. To be part of the game two years ago when MJ that shot at the buzzer to put us up two, just to be part of that was a outstanding for my career.

Q: Hey, Dirk? How is it in Dallas without Nash?
(SerLaurentz from Oslo, Norway)

Nowitzki: Well it was kind of hard for all us without Nash, he made the game so much easier for all of us; getting in the lane and kicking the ball out and giving us open looks. So at the beginning we kind of struggled, but we came a long way the past two months. We make some good progress; Dampier is playing well, the point guards are playing well. Obviously, I wish Steve was still here, but he is not so we had to adjust and I think we adjusted pretty well.

Q: You've been working on your defense during the offseason, and it's paying dividends already. Are you going to continue working on your blocking ability? You're playing awesome already, being a good shot-blocker will make you the best all around player. Good luck on the season.
(Vadim from New York City, New York)

Nowitzki: I am trying to be an all-around player when it is all said and done. There is a lot of stuff that I want to do, like passing, bringing up the ball once in a while and posting up a little bit more. There are still a lot of things that I work on. I always thought by the age of 28 or 29 that I will be a complete player, so I have a couple more years to work at it.

Q: Do you think this team can win the championship? What does it have to work on?
(Remy from Garches, France)

Nowitzki: Our goal is to try to catch San Antonio. To me they look really sharp, but anything is possible in this league. One to two key injuries to key guys and you never know and we want to keep fighting and keep plugging and keep putting the pressure on them and we can see how far we can go. Obviously we want home court advantage in the Playoffs.

Q: In your childhood, were you only interested in basketball or was soccer one of your favorite sports?
(Arlo from Marseille, France)

Nowitzki: I played tennis. I love tennis and I am still a big fan. I still pick up a racket once in a while and play in the summertime. I also played European handball because my father was a very good player. Pretty much I tried everything. I played a little bit of volleyball. Soccer really was not my sport, I was a little too tall for it, but I tried playing pretty much everything else.

Q: Who is your favorite player of all-time?
(Sabri from Hamilton, Ontario)

Nowitzki: It is tough to say because there are so many great players. I really loved Scottie Pippen. When I started to play basketball in the 90’s that was the Bulls era and everything about Scottie; the way he moved on the court, he was a great all around player. There was nothing he could not do on the court, he was a great defender, he could post up, he could rebound, he could bring the ball up and play point guard. There was nothing on the court that he could not do and that is what I admired most about him.