‘That Clip Really Hurt’: Former Mavs Teammate Reveals Why Dirk Nowitzki Hated LeBron James and Dwyane Wade

Published 01/01/2021, 9:30 AM EST


Dirk Nowitzki is one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA. The former Dallas Mavericks was one of the most elegant big men to ever play the game of basketball. Nowitzki is fondly remembered in the NBA as a ‘Gentle Giant’, a smiling 7’0″ player who could play the opposition off by himself on his best day.

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10 April 2019, US, Dallas: Basketball: NBA, Main Round, 81st Matchday, Dallas Mavericks – Phoenix Suns at Amercian Airlines Center. Marc Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and Dirk Nowitzki after his last home game. Photo: Philipp Hülsmann/dpa (Photo by Philipp Hülsmann/picture alliance via Getty Images)

But Nowitzki was so much more than that. JJ Barea spoke to JJ Reddick for his podcast. Barea revealed that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade of the Heat made Dirk angry by mocking him with a cough. Nowitzki was coughing earlier due to his recovery from illness. Further, the mockery from James and Wade pushed him to perform better.

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He said, “But when LeBron and Wade started making fun of him by coughing when he got a little sick, that clip really hurt. He would never say it, but that tape really hurt him. That gave him a little bit extra that he didn’t need, to finish him off.”

Dirk Nowitzki is an All-Time great

Nowitzki used their mockery as motivation to play his best basketball. In the series, Nowitzki led the underdog Dallas Mavericks to win against the Miami Heat. Nowitzki took on the ‘Big Three’ of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, who was heavily favored to win the NBA championship that season.

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While most analysts pointed to James’ poor performances, it was Nowitzki’s excellent play that got the Mavericks their NBA championship. For Nowitzki, winning the NBA championship solidified his legacy as one of the greatest European players to ever play in the NBA. He, along with players such as Tony Parker showed how well the European game could translate to the NBA.

Nowitzki was a veteran when he won his first and only NBA championship in 2011. He had a chance to get his first ring in 2006, but was thwarted by none other than Miami Heat. The newly formed duo of Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal allowed the Heat to win the NBA championship over the Dallas Mavericks.

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However, Nowitzki still remains one of the greatest players in the history of the NBA. His legacy will always remain intact, and his career will go down as one of the best ever.

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Aaditya Krishnamurthy

1209 articles

Aaditya Krishnamurthy is an NBA & NFL journalist for EssentiallySports, before which he worked at BusinessWorld magazine. He has been a fan of Basketball for over 10 years now, since Shaquille O’Neal was a Phoenix Suns player. During his time at Symbiosis School for Liberal Arts, he started a sports magazine for the college called the Overtime Tribune and hosted the Overtime Tribune Podcast until he graduated.

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