As MFFLs fondly recall, the pinnacle of Dirk Nowitzki/LeBron James’ on-court history was back in 2011 when Dirk led the Mavericks past Miami Heat’s “Big Three” for the franchise’s first and only title.
Since then James has gone on to win three rings with Miami and Cleveland. For Dirk, his loyalty to Dallas has meant a handful of playoff appearances but not much more team success -- though he has obviously collected a ton of personal milestones and franchise records.
But that doesn’t mean that LeBron and others have forgotten the greatness of the Tall Baller from the G.
Appearing as a guest on former Maverick Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye’s podcast “Road Trippin’ with RJ & Channing”, LeBron James spoke of his admiration of Dirk, calling him, “One of my favorites of all time”.
The hosts recalled their experiences with Dirk — Jefferson talking about his former teammate’s competitive drive, work ethic and love for 90’s hip-hop, and Frye relaying a funny story of guarding Dirk as a rookie: “He put the coolest 32 points on me so quick.”
But for LeBron, it was about real recognizing real, putting Dirk’s legacy on and off the floor in to context: “For me, just being a historian of the game, if you're able to have guys in our league that’s able to have a staple shot or a staple move that people take from you,” James said.
“He's always been one of my favorites, even--s***, took one of my rings away from me."
Though Mavs fans may point to the disrespect James and Wade showed during that 2011 finals as they mocked Dirk being sick, it is apparent in this interview the admiration James has for Dirk.
There’s no question that Dirk has established himself as a legendary player, though the Mavericks have not had much success since the title. And for players at the top of the league like LeBron James to highlight that is always nice.
Give the full podcast a listen here — Dirk talk comes up around the 45:30 mark.