Dirk Nowitzki’s teammate J.J. Barea was recently featured in J.J. Reddick’s podcast, Old Man and the Three, where he revealed how much Nowitzki hated Miami’s big three.
Entering the 2011 NBA season, Nowitzki was poised to lead the Dallas Mavericks to the NBA Finals.
Nowitzki’s quest for his first NBA ring in 2011 wasn’t an easy one. The former MVP had to go through Kobe’s Lakers, the talented Oklahoma City Thunder and finally the Heat’s Big Three, which consisted of LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.
In the finals, Nowitzki played Game 4 with a fever. Several days later, videos were released showing LeBron and Wade mocking him being sick. Here’s Barea’s take on it:
“But when LeBron and Wade started making fun of him by coughing when he got a little sick … that clip really hurt him. He will never say it, but he really saw the tape, and that tape really hurt him, and that gave him a little bit extra that he didn’t need, but it gave him a little extra to finish them off.”
Nowitzki, with all his extra motivation, put the Heat away at the end of a six-game series. Nowitzki averaged 26 points and 10 rebounds to bring the city of Dallas its first ring in franchise history.
Barea reaffirmed that the Mavericks were winning one way or another:
“He was not going to let us lose,” Barea said. “The way he prepared the whole year for it. He hated Miami, he hated LeBron, Wade, Bosh.”
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