The 2011 NBA Finals contained a plethora of intriguing and entertaining storylines. Will the Miami Heat win their first title? Will LeBron James cement himself as a superstar? Can Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs pull off the impossible?
From the jump, things got pretty intense, with both teams swapping wins through the first four games. But with the series tied at 2-2, Dirk began a bitter battle against some sort of sickness, prompting laughs from mockery from his biggest opponents at the time, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
While Wade and Bron completely embraced their tag as villains, and likely felt invisible at the time, they weren't prepared for what would follow: a brutal attack by Dirk and his Mavs, who ended up winning the series in just 6 games.
According to a member of that Mavericks team, Corey Brewer, it was that moment by James and Wade (in which they were making fun of Dirk) that helped give his team that extra spark.
“Oh for sure [Dirk] took it personally,”Brewer said, via CBS Sports. “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.”
In games 5 and 6, Nowitzki would combine to drop 50 points, leading his team to a shocking and unexpected title victory.
On the flip side, the Miami Heat went home with their tail between their legs, and LeBron with a stain on his legacy that will never be wiped away.
In the end, it's fair to say that it was Dirk who walked away laughing.