Photo: Deadspin

Former NBA player Caron Butler recalled the famous Dirk Nowitzki’s “Flu Game” which led to LeBron James and Dwyane Wade mocking the German forward. Nowitzki was sick during Game 4 of the 2011 NBA Finals between the Dallas Mavericks and the Miami Heat. He was showing flu-like symptoms.

Despite having health issues, Nowitzki was crucial during the fourth quarter of the game. He scored 10 of his 21 points in the final period leading the Mavs to a series-tying win. Before Game 5, both James and Wade mocked the Dallas star as they jokingly coughed while walking in the arena.

That was enough to fuel Nowitzki to focus even more and lead his team to two straight wins and the Mavericks’ first championship. “When had gotten wind of people thinking he wasn’t built for the moment, he was just dialled in to a whole another level,” Butler, who was on that Dallas roster, recalled. “It immediately just shifted where, I’m telling you I’m saying this with the utmost confidence, I knew we was going to have a parade in Dallas.

“That moment right there when that happened and I’d just seen his focus.. he was already dialled in but he just he took it there. I was like ‘Oh, it’s a wrap. Y’all just won us the championship.’ I was like ‘Thank you, thank you for doubting him and mocking him in the moment.’