Dirk Nowitzki ‘hated’ LeBron James-led Heat, per Mavs’ J.J. Barea
When the Dallas Mavericks defeated the Miami Heat in the 2011 NBA Finals, it was one of the biggest upsets in league history. J.J. Barea, who was a member of the Mavericks for 11 seasons, went on the “Old Man and the Three” podcast to share that Dirk Nowitzki wasn’t fond of the LeBron James–led Heat.
Back in the 2010-11 season, the Heat were in their first year with the trio of James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. The expectations for Miami were to win multiple NBA titles, beginning with the one in 2010-11.
While the Heat advanced to the NBA Finals, they would take on the Mavs, who would emerge from the Western Conference. During the six-game series in the NBA Finals, Nowitzki was feeling ill ahead of Game 4 of the series.
Nowitzki would still play in the game despite his illness, with James and Wade reportedly poking fun at him during the game. Nevertheless, Nowitzki would lead Dallas to a 86-83 victory to help the Mavs tie the series at 2-2. He would post 21 points and 11 rebounds in the crucial Game 4.
After taking down the Heat in Game 4, Dallas would proceed to win the next two games in the series, allowing them to overcome the odds of beating Miami. It would be Nowitzki’s only NBA title in his career, but it was one that carried a lot of weight due to the expectations that were placed on the Heat.
Throughout his playing career, Nowitzki never seemed to have vitriol towards any other players in the NBA. However, during the Finals in 2010-11, Nowitzki wasn’t a fan of the star-studded Heat roster that the Mavericks beat to win their championship.