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NBA’s traveling man


Dan Dickau has played for seven teams, including Boston. Associated Press
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
Dan Dickau has played for seven teams, including Boston. Associated Press (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)

The Dan Dickau trade count meter is up to eight, the most recent perhaps testing the former Gonzaga All-American’s spirits more than the previous seven.

On NBA draft day in June, Portland dealt Dickau, Fred Jones and Zach Randolph to New York for Channing Frye and Steve Francis. The move uprooted Dickau, preparing for his sixth NBA season, from his hometown team for the second time in his pro career.

Dickau’s initial reaction? “Shock, I mean a little bit of disappointment,” he said during a telephone interview last week. “I felt like I was going to be here.”

Upon further review, the initial sting has given way to a positive outlook about moving across the country.

“You can look at it either way – you’re mad, frustrated, or you can be like, ‘This is an opportunity and maybe be in a place that’s better,’ ” said Dickau, who returned to Spokane this week for the third annual Toyota All-American’s Charity Classic, at 7 p.m. Thursday at GU’s McCarthey Athletic Center. “I always look at the bright side of things and try to make the most of the next opportunity because I really didn’t get a huge opportunity in Portland.”

Dickau hasn’t enjoyed a stationary lifestyle since Sacramento drafted the 6-foot guard in the first round of the 2002 draft and quickly dealt him to the Atlanta Hawks. He played 79 games with the Hawks before going to Portland during the 2003-04 season. Then it was a short stint with Dallas before he landed with New Orleans, where he posted the best numbers of his career. Dickau started 46 of 67 games with the Hornets in 2004-05, averaging 31 minutes, 13.2 points and 5.2 assists.

His NBA journey continued with Boston two years ago and Portland last season, where he averaged just 8.9 minutes per game.

Next stop, New York.

“I’ve talked a couple times with Isaiah (Thomas, Knicks president and head coach) and he’s been very positive about there being an opportunity because I’m different than the players they have,” Dickau said. “They have a lot of guards or ‘2’ guards that are very aggressive to score and I’m kind of more of a distributor that can shoot.”

The numerous job relocations have forced Team Dickau to become proficient in the art of moving. Dickau’s wife, Heather, usually handles the paperwork end of things. Dan locates the rental home.

“Everybody goes,” Dickau said, referring to Heather, daughter Claire, 3, and son Lucas, 18 months. “I always go out a little early before camp to get situated and figure out the area so when they come the house is a little more settled.”

Dickau always looks forward to returning to Spokane. In addition to Dickau’s celebrity poker challenge today at Northern Quest Casino and Thursday’s basketball game, he’ll participate in Mark and Marcy Few’s Coaches vs. Cancer events this weekend.

“Anytime I get a chance to come back I try to take advantage of it,” he said. “I love Spokane.”

Sometime next month, Dickau will stuff a suitcase, board a plane and embark on yet another move.

“Packing and unpacking,” he said, when asked about his NBA lifestyle, “but it’s great. I love what I do. I can’t complain at all – other than the packing and unpacking.”

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