Dirk Nowitzki led one of the most improbable upsets in NBA Finals history in 2011. Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks stunned Lebron James’ Miami Heat 4-2 to take home the crown that year.
Following the win, Nowitzki was seen walking off the court shortly after Dallas had hoisted the trophy. The emotions, the electricity, and the prospect of earning his first ever Finals win all hit Nowitzki hard. It was an incredible moment for the Hall of Famer.
That title had eluded him his whole career, and to finally win it, against perhaps one of the greatest teams assembled in history. It was something that Nowitzki needed to process on his own. The Mavericks power forward would, of course, win Finals MVP, achieving the biggest accomplishment an NBA star could ask for.
“I wanted to be alone with my tears, my thoughts for a moment.”
— Bally Sports Southwest (@BallySportsSW) June 12, 2021
Dirk Nowitzki Pulled Off Incredible Finals Upset Against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade & Chris Bosh
When James joined the Miami Heat in 2010, it was supposed to be game over for the rest of the league. The King had promised Miami “not one, not two, not three,…not seven” championships and expectations were sky-high for the NBA’s first look at a “big three.”
They didn’t disappoint either. After a slow start, James and the Heat got rolling, finishing second in the east with a 58-24 record. The humiliated the number 1 seed Chicago Bulls in the playoffs, and they were primed to bring Miami the championship they were looking for.
Well, not so fast. Dirk Nowitzki and the seemingly outmatched Mavericks put a massive dent in LeBron’s bid to be an NBA champion, winning games 4, 5, and 6 to beat Miami 4-2. It was shocking to the NBA world.
While the Mavericks weren’t a badly assembled team, they largely lacked a true second option behind Dirk Nowitzki. Could you count on Jason Terry, Tyson Chandler, or Jason Kidd to find their youth, and match up against the likes of either LeBron, Wade, or Bosh all in their primes?
Somehow, someway, they did. LeBron struggled to find his identity all series long, averaging only 17.8 points per game. After the whole notion that the Cleveland Cavaliers didn’t give LeBron enough to win, this was an embarrassing showing from the superstar. He had all the tools he needed.
Yet, it was a dominant performance by a 7ft German forward stealing the show. Nowitzki finished the series averaging a Mavericks high 26 points per game and 9.7 rebounds per game. He also played a little over 40 minutes per game that entire series.
It was sensational and admirable.
The Mavericks would win the series, 4-2 and claim their 1st world championship. pic.twitter.com/EG89OyPIOe
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) June 2, 2020