One of the darkest and most forgettable moments of LeBron James' career came in the 2011 NBA Finals when the Miami Heat were beaten by the Dallas Mavericks.
The King disappeared in the final few games of the series and was heavily criticised for his performances.
In contrast, Dirk Nowitzki inspired the Mavs as he secured his and the franchise's first championship.
He was deservedly named as the Finals MVP and ensured that he wouldn't end his career without a ring.
It would be easy for LeBron to remember that horrible feeling and have some bitterness towards Nowitzki every time he sees him but instead, he has nothing but respect and admiration for the German.
The 40-year-old could be entering the final year of his career and James has spoken glowingly about him.
“He’s amazing. One of my favourite players ever to play the game," he said, via ClutchPoints. "Just his ability, what he’s able to do at his size.
"His ability to shoot the ball. His ability to sacrifice, you know, shots for other guys being a part of his team and a part of this franchise over the years and his loyalty obviously speaks volumes. He’s a true professional.
"He’s a guy who continues to get better every year and also when he slowed down just a bit, he expanded on other parts of his game to still make him efficient and still make him effective out on the floor. He’s great."
Dirk is one of the best players in NBA history and arguably the best Maverick of all time.
His title win in 2011 cemented his place among the greats and there's no doubt that he will enter the Hall of Fame when he eventually calls time on his career.
If the 2018-19 season is to be the final year for the veteran, he'll be bowing out with an incredible resume.
He was named as the MVP in 2007 and secured 13 All-Star appearances along with 12 All-NBA selections.
The legendary power forward is also part of the exclusive 50-40-90 club.
There are players across the league, past and present, who have the same level of respect for Nowitzki as LeBron does and he's sure to receive an outpouring of tributes when he does make the decision to finally say goodbye to the game.
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