Dirk Nowitzki was one of the best basketball players in NBA history and his legacy is secure. The Mavericks icon has had an incredible career, but he may have to trade “ringless” for a championship if he were to face LeBron James today.

Dirk Nowitzki, a former Dallas Mavericks and current Dallas Mavericks player admitted that he would be without a ring if it was not for LeBron James. Read more in detail here: 2011 nba finals.

Dirk Nowitzki Admits He'd Be Ringless if He Faced LeBron James After the 2011 Finals

After creating the notorious Big Three in 2010, the Miami Heat soared to the top of the NBA scene. Nowitzki, Dirk and the Dallas Mavericks wrecked the celebration less than a year after LeBron James predicted the Heat would win “not one, not two, not three, but four” championships.

In the 2011 NBA Finals, Nowitzki led Dallas to a six-game victory against Miami. The win awarded the 7-footer his long-awaited ring while keeping James from getting his.

Dirk isn’t hesitant to say the Mavs had plenty of luck on their side, even years after retiring and more than a decade after winning his only title.

The Mavericks defeated LeBron James and the Heat in 2011 thanks to Nowitzki, Dirk’s talent.

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The Heat’s appearance in the NBA Finals came as no surprise. The two-seed Miami Heat were led to a 58-24 record by James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh. It then cruised through the Eastern Conference playoffs, defeating the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics, and one-seed Chicago Bulls in emphatic five-game victory.

The Heat’s opponent, on the other hand, was a touch more unexpected. The Mavericks ended the 2010-11 season with a 57-25 record, good enough for third place in the Western Conference. Despite losing in the first round in three of the previous four seasons, Dallas advanced to the NBA Finals with a six-game win over the Portland Trail Blazers, a four-game sweep of the reigning champion Los Angeles Lakers, and a five-game thrashing of the upstart Oklahoma City Thunder.

Despite the fact that the Heat were the clear favorites, the veteran-laden Mavericks were serious about their game. In Game 2, Nowitzki’s 24-point, 11-rebound performance helped Dallas tie the series on the road. The Mavs came back from a 2-1 deficit to win Games 4 and 5 at home, putting them on the verge of winning the Larry O’Brien Trophy.

Finally, Dirk’s 21 points and 11 rebounds in Game 6 propelled Dallas to a 105-95 triumph in South Beach. After averaging 26.0 points and 9.7 rebounds during the series, the German was named Finals MVP. Jason Terry, who averaged 18.0 points off the bench and had a game-high 27 points in Game 6, was another standout performance.

Despite this, the attention was on how Miami lost the series rather than how Dallas won it, as is customary in the NBA. There was no one more deserving of scorn than LeBron James, who averaged 17.8 points on 47.8% shooting and only scored eight points in Miami’s three-point Game 4 defeat.

Nowitzki feels the Mavericks simply happened to catch LeBron James at the right moment.

Nowitzki spoke with Stugotz on The Dan LeBatard Show earlier this week about his life, career, and the 2011 NBA Finals. The Miami-based presenters inquired about one of the series’ most iconic moments: James’ inability to post up 5-foot-10 guard J.J. Barea despite having a mammoth 6-foot-9 body of his own.

Instead, Nowitzki delivered a polite answer, explaining how Dallas was able to pull off the historic shock.

“In that series, we were absolutely outmatched, and they were lot more skillful than us,” Nowitzki said. “So we got away with mucking up the game a little bit here and there, playing a smaller lineup, playing some zone.” We did all we could to stifle their progress. We were a savvy, experienced bunch that understood how to play, in my opinion. We would have had no chance if we had simply made this a ‘run up and down’ competition. They were very athletic and skillful.”

Dallas’ seasoned roster and head coach Rick Carlisle executed their plan well. Even still, Dirk feels it would not have been a fair match if his Mavericks had faced LeBron and the Heat in any other year.

“We were quite lucky to come across them in their first year, when they were just getting started.” I believe they were trying to figure out who would take the big shot and who would be aggressive at what moment, and I don’t believe they had sorted out their roles yet. So I believe even LeBron would admit that they were reluctant at times. … So far, they hadn’t found out everything. I believe that if we had met them in year two or year three, when [they] had everything worked out and LeBron was back to his old aggressive self, they would have easily defeated us.”

Nowitzki, Dirk

The 2011 series was Dallas’ final serious attempt at a ring, given the team’s steep fall after their championship. And if the Mavericks had played an experienced club like the Celtics instead, Nowitzki would almost certainly be one of the best players to never win a championship.

The following Finals opponent caught LeBron at an inopportune moment.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Di 6kJXdil8

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Dirk and the Mavericks were “fortunate” to face the Heat in their first season together, but the Thunder were unlucky the next year.

The Thunder included future superstars Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and James Harden in their fourth season after migrating from Seattle. OKC swept the Mavericks in the first round and went to the NBA Finals after going 47-19 in the shortened 2011-12 regular season.

The inexperienced Thunder, on the other hand, were no match for the more seasoned Heat. In Miami’s five-game win, James shrugged off his postseason demons, averaging 28.6 points and earned his first Finals MVP award.

Perhaps if Durant, Westbrook, and Harden, all 23 years old, had played for Miami later in their careers, the Thunder would have won a championship. After failing to beat the seasoned Mavs a year ago, the Heat lucked out by facing a youthful, inexperienced team.

The conclusion of the tale is that every championship triumph involves a little bit of luck. Few, though, openly admit it like Nowitzki.

Basketball Reference provided all statistics.

RELATED: Did LeBron James Cost Himself Another Title by Being a Jerk to Nowitzki, Dirk?

Dirk Nowitzki, the Dallas Mavericks’ star player, has admitted that he would be ringless if he faced LeBron James after the 2011 Finals. The Mavericks lost to the Miami Heat in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. Reference: 2011 nba playoffs.

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  • lebron james accomplishments
  • how tall is dirk nowitzki
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