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Dirk Nowitzki says LeBron and Wade were “childish, ignorant” when mocking his illness

Jun 11, 2011, 4:01 PM EDT

Dallas Mavericks Dirk Nowitzki of Germany, who has flu, wipes his nose during an interview for the NBA Finals basketball series against the Miami Heat in Dallas Reuters

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.

  1. denverhoopdreams - Jun 11, 2011 at 4:06 PM

    Wow, Dirk said exactly what we as fans while using our common sense said.

    Dirk needs to rage tomorrow night, and put the Heat in the ground.

    • denverhoopdreams - Jun 11, 2011 at 4:08 PM

      In addition to this, I don’t think we’ve seen a single Mavs player mock Wade and act like they’ve thrown out their back walking to the locker room.

      • kilo0986 - Jun 11, 2011 at 4:23 PM

        Or pretend to be carried of in a wheel chair after a SHOULDER injury and coming back 5 mins later 100%. I hope Dirk tears it up and takes it, he’s been nothing but a class act his career and following them this last decade was been fun, but its time to tell all haters to f!%&k you and take it

      • jamie54 - Jun 11, 2011 at 4:30 PM

        Exactly. If it were a Mav player doing the same all hell would break loose. But no, can’t touch the ‘superstars’ for being asses.

  2. norcalraider510 - Jun 11, 2011 at 4:15 PM

    dirk should mock rashard lewis by banging lebron james fiancee

  3. kesher10 - Jun 11, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    I like how 75% of this story is about how this incident is a non-story. Well-played.

  4. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 11, 2011 at 4:17 PM

    Dirk should have let this slide. Who cares what those two think about him being sick. Unlike the Heat, he should do his talking on the court.

    • denverhoopdreams - Jun 11, 2011 at 4:28 PM

      He has been doing his talking on the court. All he did was say they were childish and ignorant… don’t know what you see wrong with that.

      • royalsfaninfargo - Jun 11, 2011 at 4:51 PM

        I dont find anything wrong with it. I just think he should have ignored it. Just answer that he doesnt care or something. Of course D-Wade and James were being childish and ignorant, but i think that is more than obvious from watching the film.

  5. goforthanddie - Jun 11, 2011 at 4:19 PM

    I used to respect Wade. Sad to see LeBitch’s immaturity rubbing off on him.
    On the bright side, Dirk gets his revenge by winning the title on Miami’s court :)

    • ndirishfan1 - Jun 12, 2011 at 12:02 PM

      Your take on Wade sums it up pretty much perfectly.

      Meanwhile, Dirk is one of the few stars that doesn’t act like there was an attempt on his life every time he drives to the basket. He’s been lights out clutch all playoffs long… I’ve never much cared for the Mavericks, probably because of Mark Cuban, but Dirk is a tough guy to dislike — all he does is play the game the way it’s meant to be played without making sure everybody notices him.

    • purdueman - Jun 12, 2011 at 2:18 PM

      Le Bum is doing to Wade exactly what fat, lazy Eddie Curry did to Jamaal Crawford when he came into the league with the Bulls. You see, Eddie was from suburban south Chicago and already had a “posse” when he came into the league, and he immediately sucked then Buils starting guard right into it and Jamaal’s play went to hell in a basket.

      In this case Wade of course knows how to “make the south beach seen” and immediately sucked the boy-man Le Bum right into it.

  6. dgbk - Jun 11, 2011 at 4:27 PM

    Dirk is doing his talking on the court all he said was its childish. i think the issue is overblown but did lebron and wade came across as babies.

    • purdueman - Jun 11, 2011 at 5:18 PM

      Not to mention giving the Mavs some great bulletin board fodder to help sharpen their focus and resolve going into tomorrow night’s game too.

  7. denverhoopdreams - Jun 11, 2011 at 4:33 PM

    I think you all need to remember, the reason this even came together today is because someone asked in the media. To say Dirk shouldn’t be talking about it… come on he’s just doing another part of his day job.

  8. bigcali4life - Jun 11, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    Kurt was right. This is not a big deal at all.

    “At the end of the day LeBron, Wade and Dirk are buddies who respect each other. There is no malice here, just some guys in team sports poking a little fun at each other.”

    Sure sounds like Dirk thought it was some good ol’ fashion fun. One wonders if Wade would be happy if someone made fun of his laundry list of injuries and illnesses? Wade and Lebron have been playing the victim card all year since their “rock concert” they put together. Wade trying to get the media to make the Lakers the villans after they claimed they would win “not 5, not 6…” rings. Now Wade claims to have played the media all the time and we are all “witness” to his joke. Good one.

    At the end of the day this will not matter much. If the Heat lose this series, I’m sure this will be just seen as motivation for the Mavs. If the Heat win, I’m sure this will make everyone dislike the Heat two big stars even more.

    • denverhoopdreams - Jun 11, 2011 at 4:48 PM

      It may not be a big deal, but LeBron and Wade need to realize there are always going to be anywhere from 11-13 more people on their team.

      • bigcali4life - Jun 11, 2011 at 4:52 PM

        I was saying that it’s not a big deal in sarcasm. I find it more funny that Kurt after he was defending these two and kept saying Dirk was cool with it, only to hear that Dirk did think they were “childish.”

      • denverhoopdreams - Jun 11, 2011 at 5:06 PM

        Ok, I feel you.

      • nfl25 - Jun 11, 2011 at 5:45 PM

        wade is just jealous cuz the attention is on dirk. the heat seem like holywood actors not ball players. dirk needs to put the hollywood boys to bed sunday night

    • nfl25 - Jun 11, 2011 at 5:49 PM

      whats funny in kurts article is kurt actually got mad at dirk cuz people were coming down on wade and lebron. he threw in his article, “dirk just had a common 24 hr cold”, what reasoning did he have to put that? maybe just say, dirk wasnt on his death bed, or whatever. cuz it really isnt a big deal, but kurt really treid to take a shot at dirk.

      i want to c what its like when kurt actually gets within reach of wade and lebron. he might throw his panties at them

  9. dallasmavzfan - Jun 11, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    I agree with Dirk. Dwayne Wade and Lebron James are childish. Wade better shut up before he hurts his hip again. Karma :)

  10. crazyguy358 - Jun 11, 2011 at 5:00 PM

    if the heat loose they will be made fun of harder then before going on that stage saying not 1 blah blah and i think the mavs will respond to this little joke

    • bigcali4life - Jun 11, 2011 at 5:03 PM

      “Not 1, not 2, not 3 Final losses.” LOL

      • denverhoopdreams - Jun 11, 2011 at 5:09 PM

        They jinxed themselves. That is all.

  11. purdueman - Jun 11, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    Just yet another good reason as to why Stern should yank the team nickname of “Heat” from Miami and use his powers as the commissioner to have the team assume either the name of “Clowns or “Buffoons”!

    The Heat may be the most immature bunch of players to ever reach a championship finals series, if not the most immature ever. Sad (then again, that emotion is often associated with clowns who are said to be “laughing on the outside but crying on the inside”, another good reason to rename the team the Clowns).

  12. thetooloftools - Jun 11, 2011 at 5:19 PM

    You can take the punks out of the Ghetto, but you can’t take the Ghetto out of the punks. Mr. & Mrs. Wade are clowns.

    • purdueman - Jun 11, 2011 at 5:42 PM

      Which one you think wears the skirt at home around the house? My money’s on Queen James!

      You gotta admire though how these clowns go out of their way to give people more and more reasons to hate them!

      • purdueman - Jun 11, 2011 at 5:44 PM

        On second thought, it must be Queen James who wears the skirt around Mr. & Mrs. Wade’s home together, or the Queen’s fiance wouldn’t be dipping elsewhere to get serviced by one Mr. Richard Lewis now, would she?

    • nfl25 - Jun 11, 2011 at 5:51 PM

      i dont see them as getto. they r like hollywood boys, getto boys dont act like that

  13. md23rewlz - Jun 11, 2011 at 5:41 PM

    This in and of itself is not a big deal. Combined with so many other things, though, you just see a team of immature spoiled children. From The Decision to their absurd little dance party to some of the comments they’ve made to Wade acting like a jackass wandering into the Dallas bench after his three pointer to them mocking Nowitzki. It’s not one thing with this team, it’s everything. It just makes them seem clueless and ignorant. From day one Miami has reeked of self-entitlement. So no, I don’t think them making fun of Dirk is a big deal. He has done all he can for his team, and he is one game away from a title. He doesn’t have to worry about that junk. He’s just going to keep going out there like the professional he is. It’s sad that Miami has no clue whatsoever, but there’s nothing anybody can do about that.

    • passerby23 - Jun 11, 2011 at 9:41 PM

      I agree, this story itself isn’t as big a deal as it’s made out to be, but cumulatively with the other obnoxious incidents, it adds fuel to the fire. The Decision, the Big Three introduction, all the chest bumping and screaming after dunks, the “we won’t understand why everyone hates us” mentality, and so on. Really, a lot of this “hate” could’ve been absolved had they just come out and said, “Yeah, it was a bit over the top since Day One. We apologize for that and deserve that criticism” things wouldn’t be so bad for them now. To me, Dallas winning and Dirk and Kidd getting their well-deserved due will feel as good as Miami not winning if they can pull it off.

  14. jamkarat - Jun 11, 2011 at 5:54 PM

    Brett-Who made you King of what’s important? The tone of your article smacks of condescension.
    The NBA Finals are akin to any championship. The storyline always involves more than the game itself. It includes the season, the teams, the players, the players comments and a myriad of other issues.
    If you don’t wish to relay info of all types during a championship series, then find another profession, but spare me the snarky smugness.

  15. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 11, 2011 at 5:59 PM

    I would have loved to see the reaction of ESPN and other B-ball media if this had been Dirk and JTerry caught making from of James or Wade. I wonder what kind of sanctimonious crap they would be spewing about respecting other ball players and not getting personal.

    • denverhoopdreams - Jun 11, 2011 at 6:41 PM


      • denverhoopdreams - Jun 11, 2011 at 6:41 PM

        Besides – most of the East fans didn’t even know who Dirk was until the WCF.

  16. thesaint23 - Jun 11, 2011 at 6:52 PM

    it’s time for folks to STOP making excuses for lebum’s poor performances in big games – can’t blame delonte and lewis for lebum’s choke acts in the finals loss to the Spurs.

    God Bless George W. Bush

  17. bj1980 - Jun 11, 2011 at 7:43 PM



    Is there a running count on how many the author and their collegues on this web site alone have used in covering this non-story?

  18. texanadeb - Jun 11, 2011 at 9:12 PM

    It is not that Dirk thinks the mockery is no big deal because in reality they are all just friends. He just will not stoop to the level of two children like Labron and Dwayne. I think when it comes to character, Dirk out weighs the would be king and Wade hands down.

  19. cleoface - Jun 11, 2011 at 11:40 PM

    Bush? The one who said good job Brownie after allowing the Katrina victims to fend for themselves.

    That statement said it all. The man in charge of FEMA had no education or expierence dealing with anything other than raising expensive horses. Bush: A; really thought that Brown was doing a good job or B. Was lying through his teeth either says it all as to what type of man he is

    The only thing sicker than Bush, are supporters of his. Bush doesn’t like black people

  20. savocabol1 - Jun 12, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    1) The traffic on the other story was pretty much to blast you, Kurt, for saying it isn’t a big deal at all….yet making a big deal of it by posting an article. The comments were 90% blasting your writing the story and contradicting yourself by posting it.

    2) Your just as much a hypocrite for posting this article

    3) To get a tiny bit off subject, when Lebron was asked to clarify this mocking video he declined to comment saying he doesn’t want to feed into it. Cleveland Cavs fans want to know why he didn’t say this during every interview this year when the Cavs would be mentioned? We were asking all year why he chose to put his two cents in about Cleveland during every interview, yet the media was the one saying Cleveland needs to get over Lebron……

  21. mistercharitystripe34 - Jun 12, 2011 at 3:59 PM

    I actually love this. I miss the days when top players from both teams didn’t like each other and hug each other before and after games. I’m awaiting a 40-pt special from Dirk tonight, and also LeBron coming out of his shell. That would be an epic game.

  22. johnnyblaze518 - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:56 PM

    Lmao its funny that they wanted to mock him but Dallas won it all and dirk had 62 4th quarter points when wade and James had 62 combined points in the 4th ….heat sucks deff not gonna win next year either …GO MAVS……

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