‘Took It Personally’: Former Teammate Recalls When LeBron James and Dwyane Wade Offended Dirk Nowitzki

Published 04/03/2021, 2:00 PM EDT
February 18, 2014: Miami Heat shooting guard Dwyane Wade #3 and Miami Heat small forward LeBron James #6 chat during halftime during an NBA game between the Miami Heat and the Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX Miami defeated Dallas 117-106 (Photo by Albert Pena/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)


Back in 2011, LeBron James reached his second NBA Finals and his first as a member of the Miami Heat. Naturally, everyone was rooting for the best player in the league to go out and make light work of his opponent in the finals. But little did James and the Heat know that they were in for a mauling, courtesy of Dirk Nowitzki. 

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The 2011 NBA Finals was a thrilling one and it went back and forth till Game 4. The series was tied 2-2, but after the fourth game, Dallas Mavericks’ Dirk Nowitzki developed a fever and a sinus infection that caused serious damage to his health. 

Dallas had won two games against a power-packed Miami Heat team which was already incredible. But after Nowitzki’s sinus and fever, it looked the Heat were going to run away with the trophy. 

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Furthermore, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James were seen coughing and giggling after Game 4 which somehow indicated to fans that they were trolling Nowitzki about his illness. Well, the seven-foot German took it personally!

Former teammate reveals Dirk Nowitzki was offended by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade

It is indeed an unforgettable incident. No matter what James and Wade say, Mavericks fans would never forgive them for taunting their best player during the NBA Finals. 

As history is written, Dirk Nowitzki fought through his ailments and guided the Mavericks to back-to-back victories in Games 5 and 6, which gave the city of Dallas its first NBA championship!

Moreover, there are a lot of tales about the infamous mocking by James and Wade. To add to it, Nowitzki’s former teammate Corey Brewer recently gave his opinion on how the German superstar reacted to the Heat players’ antics. 

“Oh for sure [Dirk] took it personally,” Brewer said. “Everybody did. We saw it, everybody saw it. They were making fun of the big guy. You can’t make fun of the big guy. If you make fun of the big guy you’re making fun of everybody, and I guess that’s kind of the way we went out there and played. We played some great basketball in that series.”

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)

The entire Dallas Mavericks team took it personally, and they made no mistake. They went into reminder of the series with vengeance on their minds and completed the job clinically. 

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As for Dirk Nowitzki, he scored a combined 50 points in Game 5 and Game 6 and denied LeBron James a chance at winning his first championship. 

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Read Also: Miami Heat Coach Names the Most Underrated Aspect of Steph Curry’s Game

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Arjun Athreya

1832 articles

Arjun Athreya is a senior writer at Essentially Sports and has been contributing since early 2020. Having developed an avid interest in sports at an early age, he pursued a Journalism degree and graduated from Madras Christian College. Arjun manages the Golf division and its content, and primarily covers news pertaining to the NBA as well.

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