Although it’s less common these days, superstar athletes used to stay with one team their entire career. And when they did that, it only made them more beloved by their fans. One of those stars was international phenom Dirk Nowitzki, who led the Dallas Mavericks to an NBA title in 2011 over the Miami Heat.
Most NBA fans know the Cinderella story that transpired that season. Nowitzki and his band of brothers were never expected to get far in the playoffs, let alone make it to the championship round. The Heat, on the other hand, were led by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh—and were the heavily anticipated favorites to win it all from the very start.
What folks don’t know is that Nowitzki apparently got a little bit ticked off at the Miami Heat’s Big Three. While normally perceived as a calm, kindly fellow, the news that he had some beef with them is actually kind of refreshing.
According to his fellow Dallas teammate that championship season JJ Barea, Nowitzki couldn’t stand their opponents. Barea revealed as much in JJ Redick’s podcast: “[Nowitzki] 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.”