Dirk's Saturday reaction to the news of his illness being mocked by LeBron and Wade? 'I just thought it was a little childish, a little ignorant,' Nowitzki says. I think Dirk wasn't specific enough ... because is it Wade whose new nickmame is 'Childish' and LeBron who is now known as 'Ignorant'? Or the other way around?
Nowitzki, with the Mavs in Miami preparing for Sunday's Game 6 of the NBA Finals, is clearly not amused by the juvenile actions of Heat stars Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, who were filmed fake-coughing and cracking wise about the fact Dirk played with a 101-degree fever earlier this week in Game 4 - a game in which Nowitzki led Dallas to a win.
"I've been in this league for 13 years,'' The UberMan says. "I've never faked an injury or illness."
And with Wade and James foolishly suggesting otherwise, Dirk has reason to feel his well-earned reputation as an athlete who does things the right way has been soiled. It's one thing for dumbass sportswriters to say Nowitzki is "soft.'' It's the ultimate insult when a competitor who knows better makes a clown shot of it.
"It's over to me," Nowitzki says, but I don't believe him.
"It's not going to add anything extra to me,'' he says, but I don't believe him.''
"This is the NBA Finals and If you need extra motivation, you have a problem,'' he says, and I don't believe him -- because I think there is a problem and I think Wade and James are the ones who now have it.
Here, again, "The Ignorant and Childish Show,'' starring Mr. Ignorant and Mr. Childish:
Dallas leads the series 3-2 with a chance to close this out Sunday and capture the franchise's first-ever title. It's what Dirk has fought for during his 13 seasons in Dallas.
"So we're one win away from my dream, what I've worked for half of my life,''Dirk says. "This is all I'm really worried about. This is all I'm focusing on."
Meanwhile, how about some scrutiny for LeBron, who is whining about the spotlight? Dirk again revealing his true anger at this -- fired back at James thusly:
"I got hammered the last 13 years, basically,'' Dirk says.
What makes the Heat position more laughable: They are fibbing about the nature of the mocking, Wade first saying that Dirk wasn't the intended target of the joke -- "We never said Dirk's name, I think he's not the only one in the world who can get sick or have a cough'' -- Wade backpedaled -- and then having the nerve to pretend he's orchestrated the whole on-camera scene as a prank on the media.
"With the cameras being right there, we made a joke out of it because we knew you guys were going to blow it up,'' Wade says. "You did exactly what we knew. ... We just had fun with the cameras being right in our face about the blowup of the incident, and it held to be true. You blew it up."
Character-wise, it is troublesome that Wade would trash another person's toughness, then pretend he didn't do it, then lie about it, and then pretend that his motivation was due to him being smarter than the rest of us. There would be something to be said for Wade and James to have dissed Dirk and then, when confronted about it (by Dirk or the media), responding by saying, "Yeah, we said it. What are you gonna do about it?''
James also did a crawdadding away from this thing, causing me to wonder who raised these two young men and how ashamed of them they must be, money and fame and athletic talent aside. These are not grown-ups. These are ignorant children.
"If you guys want to feed into everything that not only myself or D-Wade or the Miami Heat do, I think that's a non-issue,'' James says. There's bigger issues in this series than (the coughing joke)."
Indeed there are bigger issues. And they begin with a battle of character between Nowitzki (the so-far MVP averaging 27 points a game in this series and with 52 fourth-quarter points has more than James and Wade combined) and these two embarrassing infants.
Immediately following Wade's revisionist lie, I tweeted a prediction of what Dirk's response would be. Having watched the man for 13 years, I felt pretty confident in insisting that his response would be a trip back to the gym, some more soup, a chiropractic appointment and another trip back to the gym.
I was wrong. His daring to characterize James and Wade as "a little childish and a little ignorant'' was right.
And now we just have to wait until Sunday to watch Dirk do what he can to establish which one of them is which.
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