A decade has passed since the NBA Finals, which featured a series between the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks. Even though the Heat was a favorite to win the title that year, they ran into a solid Mavs squad led by Dirk Nowitzki, an absolute beast all series long showcasing why he is one of the best power forwards of all time.
That finals series also featured a lot of trash talking and one moment in which LeBron James and Dwyane Wade were mocking Dirk, who previously said to the media he was sick while coughing in a press conference after a game. Wade and LeBron received a lot of criticism for their mockery of Dirk and for Caron Butler, who played for the Mavs; that was the moment when he knew they would beat the Heat.
I’m saying this with the utmost confidence. I knew that we were going to have a parade in Dallas. That moment right there, when it happened just seeing his focus. He was already dialed in, and he took it there. It’s a wrap, and yall just won us the championship.Caron Butler, via Bally Sports Southwest
In an interview for the Bally Sports Southwest, Dirk talked about that moment when he saw LeBron and Wade mocking his illness. He admitted he didn’t even know that video was out until after game five, in which he dropped 29 points, leading the Mavs to a win and a lead in the series. Dirk was unbelievably modest, saying that didn’t motivate him, but he did feel the disrespect because he was never the type to fake injuries like Wade and LeBron implied with that video.
I don’t think that added to my motivation. Honestly, we had just won game 5, and I didn’t see the video until after game 5. We pulled game 5 at home, and we started JJ, and I think that was a big change for us, of course. So we win game 5, and I saw the video the following game when we were in Miami. I felt a bit disrespected because I never felt like I had to fake an injury ever in my career, and that is now who I am and what I stand for. It didn’t really add to my motivation, and at that point, we were one win away from my dream, my goal since I’ve been a small kid. It didn’t add to my motivation; it more fired me up that I was so bad at the beginning of game six because I wanted it so bad, and I wanted to win.Dirk Nowitzki, via Bally Sports Southwest
Dirk probably didn’t care about LeBron or Wade that much since he focused on getting the win and finally securing his first NBA title after several unsuccessful seasons. That is what he eventually did, becoming the finals MVP and giving the fans one of the biggest surprises in recent NBA finals history.
Download our app for live stats and join our private channel to connect and discuss with other NBA fans HERE.