Hall-of-Famers Tony Parker, Pau Gasol, Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade recently discussed the infamous coughing video from the 2011 Finals series and made an admission to Dirk.
It was the Mavericks v Heat in the 2011 Finals and after the Mavs tied the series 2-2 with an epic 86-83 win, Wade and LeBron James could be seen fake coughing as they walked to the locker room.
The coughing was done to mock Dirk Nowitzki, who played the game with a flu, yet still managed to post 21 points.
Dirk spoke honestly about the moment during Wade’s inaugural episode of his podcast Pantheon.
“I didn’t like it,” Nowitzki said. “It just, to me, it felt a little disrespectful. I’ve never had to fake an injury, I’ve never had to fake an illness to show anything. I didn’t feel well that day, had a little fever, and really that was it. I thought it was childish.”
Wade agreed, “It was childish.”
Nowitzki continued, “I think I said it at one of the press conference[s] but at the end of the day, that didn’t add to the motivation. Honestly, at this point we [were] at game five, two games away from achieving my dream which in ‘06 we were two games away. So I really didn’t want this to be a big distraction for me.”
Wade responded with, “Like you said, it was kind of one of those things that happened. You don’t know what it’s going to become. I remember walking down the hallway and we were coming out of shoot around. At this point, I think we’re up 2-1. We had that amazing comeback in the Miami game two, but then we came to Dallas and won game three. So, in our minds, we were supposed to be up 3-0. All the talk back to us was, ‘Well, Dirk is sick. Dirk’s hand is this. Dirk’s hand is that.’ We were tired of hearing about Dirk when we were up two games. Why did they keep talking about him being sick or his hand?
“In the moment, being young and having one of those moments, he was like, “Oh, he’s sick,” and did a fake cough. Boom, it went everywhere, you know what I mean? In our minds, we were tired of it. We were like, “We’re up two, why are you still talking about him being sick or his hand?” It became bigger, but then when you look at it, you’re like, “Okay, that was a moment, a childish moment that was caught on camera.” You wish you could grab that moment back, but at the same time, knowing it didn’t have any bearing on the series. It wasn’t going to make you a greater player. You were already great.”
Dirk and the Mavs went on to win the next two games and clinch Dallas’ first-ever NBA Championship in a massive upset.