When most people think of Dirk Nowitzki’s overall demeanor, the words “kind”, “loyal”, or “dedicated” may come to mind. Put it this way—he’s the last person you’d expect to have beef with any players.
Perhaps this is the reason that we’re only finding out nine years later that Nowitzki did in fact have some beef—with his 2011 NBA championship opponents, the Miami Heat’s LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.
Considering the fact that Nowitzki led the Dallas Mavericks to an upset victory over them that NBA Finals, this new information has a lot more meaning.
Someone like Nowitzki wouldn’t have allowed his thoughts to get to the surface of the media back then—but after all this time, his former Mavericks teammate JJ Barea has revealed some interesting facts from behind the scenes.
On a podcast with JJ Redick, Barea divulged: “[Nowitzki] was not going to let us lose. The way he prepared the whole year for it. He hated Miami. He hated LeBron, Wade, Bosh. He’s never going to say that, but he couldn’t stand it.”
But apparently there was some extra motivation that got Nowitzki riled up during that series.
“When LeBron and Wade started making fun of him by coughing when he got a little sick … that clip really hurt him,” Barea revealed. “He will never say it, but he really saw the tape and that tape really hurt him. That gave him a little bit extra that he didn’t need, but it gave him a little extra to finish them off.”