Back in 2011, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James openly mocked and disrespected Dirk Nowitzki, which aggravated Dallas to take their revenge.
Dirk Nowitzki is one of the all-time greats to play on the NBA hardwood. Not only is he a champion, his unique style of play and humble nature, but also gets him appreciated by his millions of fans around the world. The 14-time All-Star spent his entire career playing for the city of Dallas.
One of the biggest upsets in NBA history was when a 32-year-old Dirk managed to take down the trio of LeBron, Wade and Bosh to win the NBA finals. Not many believed that Dallas stood any chance entering that matchup. Their competitors, DWade and James were openly mocking Dallas and celebrating as if they had already won the championship.
Corey Brewer, who was then on the Dallas squad, stated how this hurt the Mavericks. He also added how Nowitzki took the mocking personally and went on to win the championship, upsetting the “superteam”.
“We were being disrespected. Nobody even talked about us. It was all about the ‘Heatles.’ So for us, it was like ‘alright, they’re disrespecting us.’ And you gotta realize, we had a lot of great players on that team.”
“We had Shawn Marion, Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, DeShawn Stevenson, Brandon Haywood. We had Tyson Chandler, the big anchor back there. Had a good team. So we felt disrespected and I think that’s what we took into the Finals. If you’re going to disrespect us, we’re going to show you that we’re not to be disrespected.”
“We all said that if they made fun of Dirk, they made fun of everybody”: Corey Brewer
It definitely wasn’t an easy playoff for the Mavericks, who entered the playoffs not being the favourites. They managed to sweep the reigning champions Los Angeles Lakers led by the Black Mamba himself. Also defeated the young Oklahoma City Thunder, to enter the finals.
All players took notice of the shade James and Wade threw at Nowitzki. Brewer also mentioned how everybody took it personally. He explained:
“Oh for sure [Dirk] took it personally… 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.”
Dirk responding to Lebron and Wade mocking his cough. (2011 NBA Finals) pic.twitter.com/40JZyfJ1Vg
— Basketball (@BballProblemz) December 6, 2020
As Corey mentioned, the German star wanted to let his game do the talking. He managed to average 26 points per game during that series, to be named Finals MVP after winning Dallas’ first championship 4-2. To this day, Dirk’s single NBA championship gives him so much respect, rightfully. LeBron and Wade must have realised the mistake they did mocking the legend Dirk Nowitzki.