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Dirk Nowitzki talked about the “disrespect” shown by Dwyane Wade and LeBron James mocking him before Game 5 of the 2011 NBA Finals.
In the summer of 2010, the Miami Heat signed LeBron James and Chris Bosh in free agency to form a super team alongside Dwyane Wade. They made it to the NBA Finals in their first season together, but ended up on the losing end to the Dirk Nowitzki-led Dallas Mavericks, who won their first NBA Championship in six games.
During an interview with Yahoo Sports’ Vincent Goodwill, Nowitzki spoke on LeBron James and Dwyane Wade mocking his illness that he battled in Game 4 with fake coughs ahead of Game 5 of the Finals. Nowitzki said it was “a little disrespectful” when he found out about it after Game 5, but said that it did not add to his motivation to win the Larry O’Brien Trophy.
You can listen to Nowitzki’s reply in the tweet below.
Dirk Nowitzki speaks on ‘disrespect’ shown by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade
As Nowitzki mentions, he says he thinks he and Wade “are totally fine” following their retirements, citing that he was on this year’s NBA All-Star Game broadcast with him
The Mavericks evened the NBA Finals at two games apiece with a 86-83 win over the Heat in Game 5. Ahead of Game 5 was when James and Wade performed the fake coughing when walking into the arena. In that contest, Nowitzki scored 29 points (9-for-18 from field) and recorded six rebounds to help lead Dallas to a 112-103 win.
Nowitzki and the Mavericks continued their momentum in Game 6, as they defeated the Heat 105-95 to win their first NBA title in franchise history. Nowitzki was named the NBA Finals MVP after averaging 26.0 points, 9.7 rebounds and 2.0 assists.
Despite seeing the mocking by Wade and James, it did not motivate Nowitzki any further.