"Honestly, I felt it was a little disrespectful” - Dirk Nowitzki on getting mocked by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade before Game 5 of 2011 NBA Finals

Dirk Nowitzki against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat. (Photo: Courtesy of Heat Nation)
Dirk Nowitzki against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat. (Photo: Courtesy of Heat Nation)

Dirk Nowitzki recently reminisced about the 'mocking' he received from LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in the 2011 NBA Finals. He said the actions of James and Wade were 'disrespectful'.

When James and Chris Bosh joined Wade and the Miami Heat, they promised to win a lot of NBA championships. However, they ran into Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks in the 2011 NBA Finals, losing in six games.

One particular issue during that series was James and Wade mocking Nowitzki before Game 5. The Heat duo made fun of Nowitzki's "flu-game" in Game 4, wherein the German international had 21 points and 11 rebounds in the 86-83 win.

In an interview with Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo! Sports, Nowitzki spoke about the incident and if it motivated the Mavericks even more. The future Hall of Famer noted that they only saw the video after Game 5, and the team's confidence never wavered heading into Game 6.

"Honestly, I felt it was a little disrespectful, but it didn’t add to my motivation, if that makes sense. I’m one game away from achieving my dreams, something I’ve chased for the last 10 to 12 years in the league," Nowitzki said.
"I just felt like it was a little disrespectful, but it didn't add to my motivation."Dirk Nowitzki (@Swish41) chats DWade and LeBron's mocking "cough" during the 2011 NBA Finals and where his relationship with @DwyaneWade stands today on Good Word with @VinceGoodwill ⤵️

Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavericks came to Miami for Game 6. They beat James, Wade and Bosh to win their first NBA championship. Nowitzki was named the NBA Finals MVP for his heroics. Meanwhile, James and the Heat would get redemption by winning the 2012 and 2013 Finals.

Dwyane Wade embarrassed by mocking video; LeBron James learned lesson after Mavericks loss

LeBron James (left) and Dwyane Wade in 2019
LeBron James (left) and Dwyane Wade in 2019

In an interview with The Washington Post last year, Dwyane Wade opened up about the video of him and LeBron James mocking Dirk Nowitzki in the 2011 NBA Finals. Wade said that he's embarrassed by their actions, which he called immature.

"The coughing incident was just being young. Taking something that you didn’t think was as serious, and it was serious from the standpoint of sickness and health, and just being a young kid and making fun of something. Trying to get a laugh or do something to the camera," Wade said.
Dwyane Wade, active and comfortable in retirement, talks Jordan, Kobe and LeBron

Meanwhile, LeBron James has not commented on the coughing incident. However, he remembers the 2011 NBA Finals vividly in the season 5 premiere of 'The Shop'. James revealed that the loss to Nowitzki and the Mavericks humbled him, teaching him not to give a damn about critics or haters.

"At 25, that's, 25 was my first year in Miami. You know, and we lost my first year, I was 25 years old. I think one of the first ones that I started to learn that you can't really give a f*** about what people say no more. Cause everybody gonna f***ing critique everything that you do, no matter what you do. That shit will creep into your mind," James said.

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