NBA Finals 2011: Mavs @ Heat Post Game Six Quotes "Congratulations"
(Opening Statement) "I would like to say a couple of things before taking questions. First of all, as I mentioned on the court, our owner is now available for interviews. (Laughter). So you can talk to him.
I'm so happy for him. I'm so happy for Dirk. I'm so happy for the Mavericks' organization, which is such a class organization, as are the Miami Heat. A few minutes after the game, Pat Riley came down to congratulate us. And he just showed unbelievable class. We appreciate that. I know Mr. Arison a little bit. He's one of the great people. And so we hold them in high regard. They were a terrific team. And their time will come, but now it's our time. I also want to say hi to Donna and Abby at home. Hi, guys. See you tomorrow."
(On the Mavs) "This is a special team. This is the most special team that I've ever been around, because it's not about what you can't do; it's about what you can do. It's not about what your potential short comings are; it's what we could accomplish as a group together. And it was just phenomenal to be around them. In my third year, I've learned so much from these guys. Especially Jason Kidd. His view of the game is so different, and he's savant like. He's just been a thrill and a privilege to spend time with him. I don't think there's any doubt after this series that Dirk has certainly earned the clout of being one of the all time great players. His versatility, how he's done it in the clutch. He goes 1 for 12 in the first half, and then in the second half he was just absolute money. And so I'm really thrilled for him. A couple of people I want to thank that are behind the scenes guys. I want to thank Coach Tim Grguich, who came on board on a part time basis and made a big difference for. And Don Kalkstein, who is our director of sports psyche, who has been a phenomenal resource not only for me but for our players."
(On what he's most proud of) "The collective toughness of the group. It's a team that when you view it from afar, it doesn't look like a physically bruising type team. So a lot of people don't think we have the grit and the guts and the mental toughness. This is as mentally tough team I've been around. I was fortunate to play in the '80s with Boston teams. They were mentally tough. Those were four Hall of Famers on those teams. What these guys were able to do collectively, guys like Cardinal, Mahinmi, Barea, these guys played major, major roles in an elimination game in a championship series. You can't dismiss how everybody stayed ready and how everybody answered the bell.
So I am just really proud to be around this group."
(On struggles) "We had a saying, Mavericks' basketball is 48 minutes. It's not 36, it's not 40. It's 48. And over the course of 48 minutes, we're going to find a way to stay in a game. We're going to find a way to win a game. This team has more resourcefulness and grit and guts than any team I've ever been around. Game 2 was probably the key to the series. Because you go down 0 2, it's very difficult. So coming back from that deficit, coming back in Game 4 in Oklahoma City, those are key games. Because the Oklahoma City game keeps you from going six or seven games, which is really key. And again, it starts with your best players. Jason Kidd, Jason Terry, who was phenomenal tonight. I mean, absolutely 11 for 16 from the floor, 27 points. This guy is willing to come off the bench. I just can't tell you as a coach what it means to have guys that are that committed to winning that they will make those kinds of sacrifices."
(On JET) "We have a lot of guys with questionable sanity. It's not just him. It's interesting. A series like this gets very personal. It gets personal because we have guys that say things, and they do it to get themselves going. Then they have the incident with the camera and the coughing and all that stuff. You get to Game 5, Game 6, and it becomes personal. Our guys took it personally tonight. They were not going to be denied. Dirk and Jet have had to live for five years with what happened in 2006, and as of tonight, those demons are officially destroyed. They have made a statement that's a colossal statement. Not just about our team, but the game in general. Playing it a certain way. Trusting the pass. Playing collectively. Believing in each other. Our team is not about individual ability; it's about collective will, collective grit, collective guts. We're skilled and talented, too, but our game is on the ground. And the guys we were playing, their game was in the air. Fortunately, as the series went on, we stayed on the ground enough to be able to win it."
(On what Dirk was drinking at halftime in the locker room after that poor first half) "I saw YOU drinking in the locker room. (Laughter)."
(On being old) "Look, Miami's time is going to come. Their talent is undeniable. At some point it's going to carry the day. There's no doubt about that. But their time is not now. Our time is now. It needed to be now. They had a great phrase, "now is the time for us," and it was. It had to be. But the run that we went on with Dirk out of the game, the only thing I can chalk that up to you is one word, resourcefulness. We have the definition of the word "resourceful" in our locker room. It means able to devise ways and means to accomplish a difficult task in a challenging situation. That's what they did. Look, I can't tell you exactly how that's possible, but that's the kind of guys that Donnie Nelson, Mark Cuban have gotten on our roster. And it's one of the reasons that coaching this team has been so special."
(On if the Mavs laid a blueprint or if they are unique) "This is one of the really unique teams. This is my opinion now. This is one of the unique teams in NBA history. Because it wasn't about high flying star power. Come on, how often do we have to hear about the LeBron James reality show and what he is or isn't doing? When are people going to talk about the purity of our game and what these guys accomplished? That's what's special. And I played with Larry Bird, I played with Bill Walton, I played with Robert Parish, I played with Dennis Johnson. I played with the all time greats. And Dirk is up there with that upper, upper echelon of great players. He's arguably the most unique players in the history of the game. Because there's never been a seven foot player that has developed his skill and his resourcefulness for being able to find ways to score. And he's also a very underrated defensive player. When he wasn't on the floor, our defense suffered as well. I'm so proud of what our team stood for. I kept having people come up to me the last three or four days, "Hey, there's billions of people rooting for you guys. There's billions of people rooting for you guys." And we could feel it. We could feel it. We knew it was very important that we won this series for those reasons. Because of what the game is about, and what the game should stand for. And I'm so, so proud to be a small part of that."
(Is this any sweeter because you got it done in Miami?) "Oh, man, I don't know. I mean, obviously that was one of my most disappointing losses in my career, to lose the Final series after being up 2-0. It took so long just to get here. I don't really know if it would have made a difference. Just this feeling to be on the best team of the world is just undescribable."
(On Terry) "Was he unbelievable tonight or what? Coming out right away in the first half and setting a tone. I think he watched me struggle there early, and he took it upon himself to really attack and look for his shot early and get going early. Man, he kept coming all night long. He was phenomenal. That one timeout he said to me, "Keep pushing. Remember '06." He said that to me in the fourth quarter. We kept plugging. It wasn't pretty for me, but I had to keep plugging and keep fighting."
(On Monkey off tha back) "I don't really think that way right now. If you're in this league for 13 years of just battling and playoffs last basically ten years, 11 years, and always coming up a little short. That's why this is extra special.
If I would have won one early in my career, maybe I would have never put all the work and the time in that I have over the last 13 years. So this feels amazing. I'm happy for Kidd. What a warrior he is at 38, chasing the most athletic players in this league out there and doing a great job on him, and also leading our squad. He's been in this league forever and had two chances. Just an unbelievable team. I said it all season long. We had great chemistry with the guys. We had fun in the locker room, on the buses and stuff. So this is a special group. We're world champions. It sounds unbelievable."
(On soft, clutch etc) "Well, I just think we're a resilient bunch, and we saw it. This whole series we were down some. We kept battling back. Kept believing in each other. I just think this is a win of team basketball. This is a win for playing as a team on both ends of the floor, of sharing the ball, of passing the ball, and we've been doing that all season long. I'm happy. We never looked at ourselves as soft. Not for one minute. And we just kept fighting."
(On the Importance of Carlisle) "Well, I think he's an experienced coach, and he pushed all the right buttons, and it took us a while to find a good mix. I think I mentioned that yesterday, of still keeping our defensive principles that Avery installed and also giving Kidd a little more freedom on the offensive end, letting him run the show a little bit, letting him create and letting him call some plays on the fly and push the pace up a little bit. So I think that he did a great job doing that, and during the course of the season, we had to adjust to some stuff. I thought in The Finals he did some phenomenal adjustments here to start J.J., and then decide to let Peja really sit for the series, bring Cardinal in, who has been phenomenal for us this series. Constant pro. Always stayed ready for us. It's an unbelievable team effort and the coaches and the whole organization. I give Mark a lot of credit. Cuban. He stuck with me through thick and thin. He brought all the right players always in, always trying to spend money and make this organization better and this team better. So, Mark is the best."
(On the Shitlist (Barkley's choice of words)) "Man, this is what I obviously played for the last couple of years. I think when you come in in this league you want to establish yourself. All these All Star Games and all those things are nice, in scoring, but when you get to a certain age, you've basically seen it all, and all you play for is for that ring. And I think that's the kind of energy we had from the beginning of the season this year, bringing Tyson in, who was unbelievable for us defensively again. Yeah, it feels amazing now to know that nobody can ever take this away from us again, and for one year we're the best team that was out there. That feels amazing."
(On when he felt they had it) "Well, I think in a lot of games we kept fighting back. All the wins we got in the fourth quarter, at some point we were down, besides today, and the way we kept plugging. Even in Game 5, we were up like 7 or 8. They made a huge run and they go up by a couple of points. And we had to battle back again and fight through it. So I don't really know where it happened, but we're just a resilient, veteran team that always kept coming. We never stopped playing, and we kept believing in each other. That was phenomenal. We talked about it in several time outs, even when we were down, we have to keep executing, keep playing. You never know what's going to happen. And some of these wins we were able to come back. That was big."
(On Leadership, calling out others, etc) "Well, you know, I think at the beginning I had some problems with the leadership role and talking. But over the last couple of years I think I've been more comfortable. Obviously my English is a lot better than it was when I first got here. So it's just being more experienced, more comfortable talking to the guys, talking to the fellows, and the experience of seeing something on the court that you want to address. And I just think it all came together for me with hard work and experience. It still feels unbelievable."
(On his shooting) "It was weird. In the first half I had so many good looks. I can't even explain it. I had some threes top of the key. I had a wide open three in the corner. I had some pull ups. I had some one leg fadeaways that I normally make. But like I said, the team always told me, stay with it, stay with it. You're too good of a shooter, too good of a player to keep missing. So finally there in the third I made a three, and there in the fourth I was able to make a couple of pull ups. But like I said, this team every time somebody was down all season long, somebody else stepped in and picked them up. Mahinmi was unbelievable today, since Haywood went out a couple of days ago, and he gives us energy. All of a sudden makes some big shots today. So I think all season long if somebody was down, the team picked him up. So it was an amazing effort."
(On staying in Dallas and things now being different as far as careerearviewmirrorlooks are concerned) "I don't know. That's something I'll look back to and I can always look back to the '10 '11 season and say we're the world champs. Nobody can ever take that away from me. So that's really the best thing about this. Sticking to Dallas, that was the plan. We fell short so many times, and I committed for four more years this summer, and we didn't really know what was going to happen. We were a first round, second round exit a bunch of times. But consistency pays off. Like I said, Mark kept bringing in players. Losing Caron this year was an unbelievable blow. We kept playing, kept fighting through. Bringing Peja in, who was a big addition for us in earlier rounds of the playoffs. So it wouldn't have felt right to win it somewhere else. I'm happy. I obviously made the right decision. And this is also for the Mavs fans, who have been through a lot of disappointments with me over the last couple of years. And they always stuck with me and kept supporting us. And the gym was always full in Dallas during the regular season. This is for them."
(On his shooting, a la Lakers Game 4?) "No, it was nothing like the Lakers game. But to be able to get hot in the game to this magnitude, obviously, all the credit goes to my teammates. Greatest point guard in the world, he's sitting right next to me. Hall of Famer. Understands where to get his teammates the ball in the right situations, in situations to be successful. And I was able to do that early in the game."
(On Faith, Dirk, MVP) "My faith, first of all, is in God. And with that comes the confidence, knowing that you can be successful when you play with guys like we have on this team. You look at what Dirk was able to accomplish this postseason. He played like none other. The year he won MVP doesn't even compare to what he did this year in the postseason. All the critics talked about what he couldn't do, where he fell short. But to carry this team the way he's done is just phenomenal. I'm just happy to be a part of it."
(On 05-06) "Going in we never used '05 '06 as a motivating factor. Two totally different teams. You look at what we did along the way, along our journey, getting past Portland. Nobody said we could. Doing what we did to the Lakers. We continued to grind it out, believing in each other, and showed huge resiliency every time we stepped on the court. I thought in this series there was a time and situation where there was a turning point. That was in Game 2. Down 15, we all looked at each other, and we continued to believe. And we win that game and the rest is history."
(On Dirk) "Well, Dirk has huge resolve. Regardless of what people say about him, he's going to come to the gym every day and prepare the same way. He's been doing it for so long, and he still doesn't get the credit that he deserves. What he's able to do at his size, at his height, you haven't seen this before. The way he shoots the ball, the way he gets the shot off. What set him apart from all those other years, he made his teammates better. We look back on this whole entire year and what we've accomplished, you're going to look at Dirk Nowitzki's performance, you're going to look at the numbers, but what he meant to Shawn Marion, to Tyson Chandler, to myself, to Jason Kidd, to J.J. Barea, making us raise our level to another level. That's when you have a superstar. And that's when you have a Hall of Famer."
(Maybe my favorite moment of the whole night is you keep catching your reflection in the trophy and it's cracking you up. You mentioned the turning point was in Game 2. You guys both mentioned that. You got down 15. The celebration took place right in front of your bench. You followed LeBron out on the court. You stopped, you guys didn't get into it or anything, but you woke up from that point. You became a different player. I'm not saying that motivated the team or anything, but it seemed to motivate you. And now there's no bulletin board here, there's no reason to be PC, did that inspire you?) "Deuce is funny. He said being from Oakland, he said it brought out the GP in me. Everybody know who GP is, Gary Payton. One of my idols. A good friend. We're playing for the NBA Championship. In no way, shape or form with seven minutes left on the clock the game was over. As long as there's time on that clock, this Maverick team is going to play to the end."
(On Dirk starting 1 for 12) "It wasn't about me carrying the team. It was doing my job. My job is to come in and provide a spark, make plays, make shots. I did my job, and I knew if Dirk continued to get the shots he was getting, those were good shots. He wasn't forcing anything. It was coming off great ball movement. I told Jason, I said, "You might want to talk to him, but I know what I'm going to tell him." After Deuce said something to him, I told him about halftime, "'05 '06." I don't know what it did, but after that he got hot."
(On the little kid inside him) "Well for me, I just think about my journey. Where I come from in the city of Seattle, growing up many nights on the playground, emulating the greats, Isiah Thomas, even my hometown heroes like Slick Watts, Downtown Freddy Brown,. Now I'm in the same breath as those guys. They're champions. Dr. J texted me before Game 6. He said, "Hey, son, it's your time." I responded to him, "I want to be a champion, just like you." Now I am."
(On Revenge and America vs Heat) "Again, it was not our motivating factor going in. Now that we have done it, you can say it was sweet vindication. We've been on the other end. We've been the team most hated, the team that's not picked to do anything. So we really didn't care what the critics were saying or what America thought. We just knew that each individual man in that locker room had what it took to win a championship."
(On this Mavs team vs all his others, what sets them apart) "I think adversity. We got off to a great start at the beginning of the season. Dirk was playing, if not at an MVP type season, and then we lose Caron and Dirk. And so everybody wrote us off but ourselves. I think going through that period where we lost six in a row and looked at each other and said we got to find a way, because those two aren't coming back anytime soon. Guys stepped up, and we turned it around. I think just going through the journey of those injuries made us a better team, because we had to do a lineup change, and then we did the lineup change during The Finals. And we didn't skip a beat. We just kept playing. That just shows the character of this team. No matter how old you are, we understood how to play the game, by passing the ball and making sure that we didn't take shots where three or four guys are on you. We just made the extra pass. We didn't care who put the ball in the basket."
(On figuring out the Heat D since Gm4) "I think the big thing is understanding the Heat and the way they play defense. They're a big help team. And they over help a lot of times. And we just felt early in the series we were getting great looks. We just couldn't make a shot. And as the series went on, we felt if we kept moving the ball, we're going to get those same shots, and those shots were going to start to go in for us. And I thought at the end of Game 4 and then in Game 5, the dam in a sense broke. We felt, we're a confident group, that this is the way we're going to play and we're going to continue to play until we find a way to win."
(On the turning point of the Series) "Shoot, the turning point was in that Game 2, when we looked at each other and we found a way to win, being down 15. We were in that same boat in the Oklahoma series. We were in the same boat in the Portland series, where actually, we were in that same situation in every series we were in. Portland we give up the 23 point lead and lose, and we looked at each other and said that can't happen again. And so L.A. Game 1 we're down 16 or 15 and we find a way to win that. So I think we were a little bit comfortable playing from behind. As much as we wanted to get the lead, it just didn't happen."
(On joking about his age for years) "You guys have talked about it for a long time."
(On winning at his age) "It's all about my teammates. When you surround yourself with positive guys, young guys that keep you young. And when you look at Jet, you look at Dirk, these guys can shoot the ball with the best of them. So that was my challenge, that I wanted to compete and to help my team, I had to be able to knock down the three to make it easier for these guys. So I worked on it every day. And no matter what age, as long as you feel you can do something to help your team win, it's a positive thing. I think for me my whole thing was I didn't have to score, but my calmness of telling guys to relax and what I saw out there that maybe helped guys defensively or on the offensive end. So being 38, you guys talked about it a lot. I don't feel 38 mentally or physically. I feel great."
(On adding the Chip to his resume) "Man, it's a dream come true. It's not real right now, because just the battles against the Heat and understanding the journey, it's been a long journey for 17 years. I thought I had an opportunity in '03 to win a championship, and I was on the other end; we lost to the Spurs. My teammates, their character and their will to come every day and work to get better, they deserve all the credit. And so I'm just happy to be at the right place at the right time."
(On Mr. Carter, who drafted him in 94) "I think this is huge for the Carter family. For the down years that Dallas has had and then to still be a part of it once Cuban bought the team, and just to see this day come, I mean, I think they're on cloud nine. We're so happy for them because of what they've done for the franchise is big, because Dallas before only won 27 games or 30 games. And once Cuban took over, he set the bar high of winning 50 games. So to finally finish across the line of the marathon in first place is huge."
(You are a world champion) "This is unbelievable. Unbelievable. We did it for you, Dallas. We worked hard. We came together through training camp, through the regular season. Everything we did, we did it all for you, and now we're bringing a trophy back for everyone."
(On the journey) "It's been unbelievable. This team, through injuries, through ups and downs, and to get to this point now and be world champions, I don't even know if it's sunk in yet. It's unbelievable."
(What was it like to see Dirk hoist the championship trophy and hoist the MVP trophy?) "Dirk Nowitzki, Jason Kidd, Peja Stojakovic - we really did it for those guys. And Jason Terry, excuse me. Those guys have been to a championship, been to Western Conference Finals, never got over the hump. And to be able to win now, have a legacy, when they decide to retire, as champions, it's an amazing feeling."
(I'm not asking you to take a shot at the Miami Heat, but they're a team of three, you guys are an entire team. In this series, that showed) "We were definitely a team, but those guys gave us everything we could handle. They're impressive players, athletes. You know, they're a tough team. Give them credit for making it this far. I'm sure it's tough for them right now, but they've had an unbelievable season."
(On Dirk's former labels) "They can no longer say that. They can no longer say that! Dirk Nowitzki is a champ, baby. You can throw all that soft out the window. The man is a champion!
(What's up?) "I'm excited. This is what this is all about. Twelve years, and man, I'm a champion. Nobody can take this away from me. We went out here, and all the doubters, all the haters, and we go out there and took this. And we did it the right way: with class, with dignity, and great basketball, and a great team. And I love these guys. We went out here. I came here two years ago to win a championship, and we did it, and that's what it's about."
(Did you think it was possible from the start?) "Once we got it rolling in the playoffs. In that first round, it seemed like we just got it clicking and we just took no prisoners. Everybody was on each other, and we were just doing it."
(On doubts in the 4th) "No. We've been legitimate. We've been determined to win, and that's what it's about."(On being close before and winning now) "Great. You've got so many people that have been destined here. Everybody's been having that edge for a long time. We started this playoffs with our stomachs empty, now they're full. It's full, and it's gonna get more fuller.