Heat Vs. Mavericks, 2011 NBA Finals: Dirk Nowitzki Calls LeBron James, Dwyane Wade Coughing 'Childish, Ignorant'

With all the NBA chattering class' attention focused on the Heat this season, there have been a few incidents that have blown up into controversies this year. None has been bigger than the one sparked before Game 5, when LeBron James and Dwyane Wade feigned coughs to poke fun at Dirk Nowitzki and the media that turned his cold symptoms into a storyline before Game 4.

It was only going to survive until Sunday's Game 6 with some eye-rolling dismissals from James and Wade before Nowitzki lambasted the move in speaking to reporters, calling it "a little ignorant, a little childish" and saying he's never faked an injury or illness.

Those are strong words — and unfortunately loaded language from Nowitzki, who might not get some of the connotations of a white European player calling black players' actions "ignorant" and "childish." But Nowitzki has a point: Wade's own propensity for dramatic reactions to every nick makes him casting doubt on another's injury hypocritical at best, and James and Wade trying to play the incident off as a non-issue looks bad, too. Sure, Wade's right that many, many media members failed the test of recognizing those coughs as jabs at the media's tendency to blow up storylines, instead taking the bait.

But it looks "unprofessional" and "classless" for Wade and James to be doing that in some minds, and that, along with Dirk's blasting of the antics, just gives many a columnist a new lede before Sunday's Game 6.

For more on the championship series, follow our 2011 NBA Finals hub. For more on the Heat, visit Peninsula Is Mightier. For more on the Mavericks, visit Mavs Moneyball and SB Nation Dallas.

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