By Antonis Stroggylakis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Dirk Nowitzki extremely disliked the Miami Heat and their much-advertised Big Three consisted of Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh according to his former longtime teammate J.J. Barea.
In an interview for J.J. Redick’s “The Old Man and the Three” podcast, Barea said that Nowitzki “hated” the Heat and their famous power trio and that this further increased his motivation to win the championship in 2011.
“He was not going to let us lose. The way he prepared the whole year for it… He hated Miami, he hated Lebron, Wade, Bosh. He’s never going to say that but he couldn’t stand it,” Barea said. The Puerto Rican guard was teammate with Nowitzki on the Mavs from 2004 to 2011 and then 2014 until 2019, the year Dirk retired from basketball.
“He got ready for it. He doesn’t talk much. He leads by example. But that year, he would talk and he would talk loud and would point fingers,” Barea added. “He was special, he had a different mindset that year. ” Nowitzki had lost to Wade’s Heat during his previous trip in the Finals in 2006.
During the 2011 Finals, Nowitzki played through fever in a Game 4 win. Few days afterward, video footage showed Lebron and Wade making coughing noises and laughing in a manner that appeared to be mocking of Nowitzki being ill.
This pumped up Nowitzki even more in his quest for the ring.
“When Lebron and Wade started making fun of him by coughing when he got a little sicks, that really hurt him,” Barea. “He saw the tape and that really hurt him. It gave him a little extra, he didn’t need it. But it gave him a little extra to finish them off.”
Barea also commented on Luka Doncic and his potential, saying that: “He’s just chilling. He still hasn’t taken the next step”