MIAMI _ If Dwyane Wade and LeBron James thought it was funny to mock the sinus infection and cough Dirk Nowitzki had in Game 4, think again.
Nowitzki didn’t think it was funny at all.
“I just thought it was a little childish, a little ignorant,’’ Nowitzki said before Saturday’s practice. “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.’’
Before Game 5 this past Thursday in Dallas, a cell phone video captured Wade and James coughing and mocking Nowitzki’s illness. It was a cautionary tale of a pair of 20-something NBA superstars going out of their way to mock an opposing player’s – Nowitzki – illness.
Incredibly, Wade said the video didn’t paint the true picture of what actually was taking place.
“First of all, it wasn't fake coughing. I actually did cough,’’ Wade said. “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. We never said Dirk's name.’’
Perhaps not, but the insinuation was certainly there for everyone to draw their own conclusions.
“I think he's not the only one in the world who can get sick or have a cough,’’ Wade said. “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.’’
Maybe, but James was in no mood to tell his said of the story, or to back Wade’s version.
“I'm not feeding into that,’’ James said. “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.
“There's bigger issues in this series than that.’’
Mavs guard Jason Terry said he hasn’t seen the video and could care less about its content.
“If you need anything other than that trophy to motivate you at this point,’’ Terry said, “you're probably setting yourself up for failure.’’
Nowitzki said he has more pertinent things to worry about any shenanigans from Wade and James.
“This is the NBA Finals,’’ Nowitzki said. “If you need an extra motivation, you have a problem.
“So we're one win away from my dream, what I've worked on for half of my life. This is really all I'm worried about. This is all I'm focusing on. And not really off‑the‑court stuff that happened.’’
-- Dwain Price
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