In the 2011 NBA playoffs, Dirk Nowitzki and the Dallas Mavericks surprised the world. They put on the crown as the best team in the world and rightfully so. The 2011 Mavs overcame many tough opponents, while the final one being the Miami Heat Big 3.
It was the first-ever season that fans saw the Big 3 of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh in action. The three superstars famously promised numerous NBA titles to Miami fans and in their defense, things looked pretty certain for them, until the finals.
During the NBA Finals, LeBron and Wade famously mocked Dirk's coughing. It was a clear sign that the two superstars were making fun of Nowitzki and believed he was sick. However, that turned out to be a huge mistake on the duo's part.
Following this mockery incident, Dirk destroyed the Miami Heat in the next few games and ultimately won the first and only ring of his career. While the Mavs were having a decent series, if LBJ and Wade didn't pull off that stunt, the Heat might have won the series.
Now, Dirk's former teammate and part of the 2011 Dallas Mavericks' roster, JJ Barea revealed that he and a few Mavs players forced their superstar to watch the video.
Dirk was always known as a calm presence on the field, but even for him, it was too much. Barea also revealed this made Dirk pretty bad and eventually motivated him.
This is not the first time a player has revealed that Dirk's game changed after the coughing incident. In fact, Caron Butler believes the incident was equivalent to the Heat handing the NBA championship to the Mavs on a plate.
Well, at the end of the day, the Heat got a big reality check. They returned as a more focused side and the hunger to win the trophy in the next few seasons. As a result, the three superstars won two back-to-back championships and ultimately disbanded in 2014.
Do you think LeBron and Wade's mockery cost them the 2011 NBA championship? Or would the Mavericks have won the title irrespective of that?