Dirk Nowitzki has never been one to listen to the critics, and he isn’t planning to start now. While everyone is off bashing the Miami Heat, he doesn't mind coming out on record and saying he is impressed with the team that they have put together. So much so, in fact, that he would have seriously considered joining them had an offer been extended by Dwyane Wade and the Heat.
“It would already have to be an unbelievable situation to go somewhere, for instance with LeBron or Wade just to play in Miami,” Dirk said. “I would only be changed if it was an incredible situation that would have been offered. (Had LeBron and Wade asked), that would have been a situation where I would have to consider.”
It’s very interesting that Wade did not have any conversations with Nowitzki regarding coming to the Heat. This means that either he knew all along that Bosh was on the way or, that he doesn’t particularly respect his 2006 Finals opponent’s game.
When asked about Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson’s comments regarding the Heat’s new “Three Kings,” Nowitzki had this to say:
“If you look at the Lakers … they have accumulated a lot of incredible players,” adding that it is “simply not possible” for one superstar to win a championship alone. “You need at least two superstars today to get to the championship … The league is so strong that it takes so much talent to win a the end.”
With a basketball mastermind like Pat Riley running the Heat, you have to wonder why they never even bothered to talk about bringing Nowitzki in. Sure, Chris Bosh was part of the James-Wade gang, and was far more likely to leave the Toronto Raptors than Nowitzki was Dallas, but it’s still puzzling.
When Nowitzki did, in fact, opt out of his contract, the move caused anything but a media frenzy because it was thought that he had no intentions of playing for anyone but Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
From a talent perspective, most would have to agree that Nowitzki is the more skilled player between him and Bosh at this point in their respective careers. However, considering Bosh is more of a traditional power forward and he's a lot younger, that no doubt made Bosh the better long-term pick for the Heat. At the end of the six-year deals the current “Three Kings” signed up for, Nowitzki would have been 38 years old.
Still, it is interesting to think about what the Heat would have looked like if they had Nowitzki at the four-spot instead of Bosh. He is a double-double machine and a far more efficient scorer. Plus, his turnaround jumpers from the fouline extended would haved stretched defenses away from the hoop and opened up driving lanes for both Wade and James.
Coming away from this story, fans have to be asking themselves two questions:
- Why did the Heat never speak to Nowitzki? Was it because they didn’t expect he would leave the Mavericks? Or was it because they didn’t like his age/skill level?
- Ultimately, did they make the right choice by going with Bosh over Nowitzki?