Jun 11, 2011, 4:01 PM EDT
Big news, people.
I’m not talking about the potentially impending doom facing the Miami Heat on Sunday, when they could very well lose their fourth game in six tries against the Dallas Mavericks in these Finals, and the NBA title right along with it. No, this is far bigger of a story apparently, considering it’s made headlines now for the third consecutive day.
Dwyane Wade and LeBron James appeared to have a little fun at the expense of Dirk Nowitzki before Thursday’s Game 5, when they were seen on video mocking the illness Nowitzki played through in Game 4. The pair were holding their shirts over their mouth and coughing, while Wade could be heard saying, “Did you hear me cough? Think I’m sick.”
Hilarious stuff, right? And obviously, a HUGE deal that Miami’s two superstars would dare to mock the Mavericks’ best player, especially when the two teams are so closely battling for a championship.
Yes, this storyline is so important to the media covering the Finals — and it’s clearly important to you as well, as the traffic on this story has been ridiculous — that of course, Nowitzki and Wade were asked for reactions at Saturday morning’s shootaround. So, here you go.
“I just thought it was a little childish, a little ignorant,” Nowitzki said. “I’ve been in this league for 13 years. I’ve never faked an injury or an illness before. But it happened. It’s over to me. It’s not going to add anything extra to me. This is the NBA Finals. If you need an extra motivation, you have a problem.”
Wade responded by trying to say he was actually coughing, and then claimed that he made a bigger issue out of it as a way to mess with the media.
“I wasn’t fake coughing,” Wade said. “I actually did cough. And with the cameras being right there, we made a joke out of it because we knew you guys were going to blow it up. You did exactly what we knew.”
And there you have it.
In conclusion: No one will believe Wade’s explanation, and Nowitzki, while possibly being slightly annoyed by the whole thing, really couldn’t care less.
Game 6 is Sunday night. Since it might be the last time we see NBA basketball for quite some time, let’s try to focus, people.