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Dirk Nowitzki Says LeBron James And Dwyane Wade Jokes During 2011 Finals Were 'Disrespectful'

Dirk Nowitzki Says LeBron James And Dwyane Wade Jokes During 2011 Finals Were 'Disrespectful'

Ahead of Game 5 of the 2011 NBA Finals, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade took a slight dig at Mavericks star Dirk Nowitzki, who apparently dealt with a sinus infection and fever during Game 4.

In a recent interview with Yahoo, Dirk was asked for his thoughts on that clip and wasn't afraid to admit that he found it a bit disrespectful at the time.

(via Yahoo Sports)

“We saw it after Game 5, but I didn’t see it. Honestly, I felt it was a little disrespectful,” Nowitzki said. “[But] it didn’t add to my motivation, if that makes sense. I’m one game away from achieving my dreams, one I’ve chased 12 years into the league.”

“I always say I had to go through tough times and disappointment to come out on top in 2011,” Nowitzki said. “Shaped me, formed me, pushed me to become the mental closer. Winning it all helped my reputation — to the guy who could finish the job. Helped me, took weight off my shoulders. I was super proud of that moment.”

Poking fun of a sick opponent is not one of the finer moments of the Wade/LeBron duo, to be sure, but it was better than what came after.

In a shocking and embarrassing upset for the "Big Three" Miami Heat, they were defeated in just 6 games by Dallas, who were older and much less talented overall. To this day, it stands as the biggest blemish of LeBron James' career.

Eventually, they would end up making amends by capturing two straight titles in the following two years.

As for Dirk, the 2011 Finals only brought more validity to his career in the NBA, and that moment by James and Wade may have helped make it possible. All these later, and he still recalls how he felt hearing it for the first time.