Mavs great Dirk Nowitzki speaks out on competing against Lakers’ Kobe Bryant, LeBron James
“It’s amazing the basketball culture this club has had for such a long time,” Nowitzki said of the Lakers, per Mark Medina of USA Today. “Kobe and LeBron were always two of my favorites to watch and compete against. They know how to prepare with how they’re ready, how they compete every game and their skill level. Definitely two of the best to ever do it.”
Nowitzki’s comments came in after the Lakers’ presented a tribute video for him during the first quarter timeout of their eventual loss to the Mavs on Sunday. The German shared that he had no inkling that the Purple and Gold franchise was going to do that, but he was thankful nonetheless.
Moreover, it brought Nowitzki back to his classic battles with the Lakers.
To recall, back in the early 2000s, the Mavs were considered one of the top teams in the West. However, it was the Lakers — powered by the duo of Shaquille O’Neal and Kobe Bryant — which came out on top for three straight years.
Fast forward to the mid-2000s to the early 2010s, Nowitzki’s first crack at the NBA Finals was foiled by Dwyane Wade’s Miami Heat in 2006.
Despite the heartbreaking loss, Dirk Nowitzki kept the Mavs relevant and come the 2010-11 season, he snagged his first title against the powerhouse Heat squad featuring LeBron James, Wade and Chris Bosh.