Dirk Nowitzki has plenty of grateful memories through a storied career in the NBA, but one of his few regrets is how his top-seeded Dallas Mavericks team was found helpless against the “We Believe” Golden State Warriors of 2007, who became the first eighth seed to upset a No. 1 since the establishment of the best-of-seven format for the first round of the postseason.

“We ran into huge matchup problems,” Nowitzki recalled, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. “Nellie knew exactly how to play us back then because he coached our team. And, you know, the Warriors were hot. They had little guys, played fast, fired up at the time. (Baron Davis) must’ve made a half-court heave, a buzzer beater, in every game. Man, it was just a bad matchup.”

Live and breathe the NBA?

🚨 Get viral NBA graphics, memes, rumors and trending news delivered right to your inbox with the Clutch Newsletter.

The Warriors swarmed Nowitzki with long wings that constantly pestered his post-up opportunities and ran him off the 3-point line, forcing him to take bad looks or step in for easier twos if chased around the perimeter.

“Don Nelson gave me the tools to critique Dirk to a T,” said former Warriors wing Stephen Jackson. “So I knew his game probably better than he did at that time. I studied it every day. I had his game down.”

The 2006-07 Warriors were fast, scrappy, and the complete antithesis of the well-organized team that Dallas was at the time. It was like bringing ruckus into a military school, bringing the bats of hell to basketball heaven.

The long arms of Jason Richardson, Matt Barnes, Mickael Pietrus and Jackson constantly swatted at Nowitzki and took every opportunity to take the ball out of his hands, knowing they stood a much better chance if the role players were forced to become the stars of the game.

Needless to say, the loss made Nowitzki into a better player, and later a champion after providing an upset of his own, taking the glory from a newly-assembled 2011 Miami Heat team led by an ensemble of stars.