On his recent appearance on JJ Redick’s podcast, JJ Barea explained how much beating LeBron James and winning the NBA title meant to Dirk Nowitzki.
The 2011 NBA Finals are still the most satisfying moment LeBron haters have enjoyed over the last 17 years. The manner of his meltdown practically excludes him from real GOAT consideration. James had 8 points in a game when he could have helped the Heat to a commanding 3-1 series lead.
This was the very game in which Dirk played through a fever and scored 9 fourth quarter points to give the Mavs a 2 point lead. Before the final game at the American Airlines Center, LeBron and Wade mocked Nowitzki. Their actions seemed to be born from the belief that Dirk had faked a fever.
James and Wade really did become the laughing stock of the Internet after two incidents in the Finals. The other one was the duo’s over-the-top celebration after the Heat took a 15-point lead in Game 2. The Heat proceeded to score just 5 points in nearly 8 minutes after that.
Dirk Nowitzki hated LeBron James and Dwyane Wade: JJ Barea
When asked by Redick about Dirk’s impact on the Mavs’ fortunes in 2011, Barea replied:
“Dirk wasn’t gonna let us lose that year. The way he prepared the whole year for it. He hated Miami and he hated LeBron, Wade and Bosh. He’s never going to say that but he couldn’t stand it. Yeah, he got ready for it and that year, he was leading with his words. He wasn’t the type to speak a lot.”
“But that year, he wanted it really bad. He would talk loud and he would point fingers. He was in a different mindset that year, he was driving the ball more for some reason.”
“But when LeBron and Wade made fun of him by coughing when he got a little sick, that clip really hurt him. That gave him a little bit extra to finish them off, even though he didn’t need it.”
J.J. Barea claims Dirk Nowitzki hated LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat
“He hated Miami, he hated LeBron, Wade, Bosh. He’s never going to say that, but he couldn’t stand it.”
— NBA Central (@TheNBACentral) January 1, 2021