Report: Nowitzki doesn’t hate much, but Heat are ‘close’

There are plenty of NBA fans who don’t care much for the Miami Heat.

Dirk Nowitzki is one of them.

The Dallas Mavericks star power forward expressed his feelings about the two-time defending champions on Friday.

“In life, I don’t really hate much,” Nowitzki told “Fitzsimmons and Durrett” on ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM. “I’m an easygoing guy, but that’s probably about as close as it gets.”

Nowitzki and the Mavs were the last team to beat the Heat in the playoffs, claiming the 2011 title in LeBron James’ first season in Miami. But Nowitzki hasn’t forgotten the frustrating 2006 NBA Finals loss the Dwyane Wade-led Heat after blowing a 2-0 series lead.

Following Miami’s Game 7 win over the San Antonio Spurs for the championship this season, coach Erik Spoelstra said it was the ‘toughest series’ they had ever been in.

Nowitzki thinks otherwise.

“He might have preferred to say ‘the toughest series that we won,'” Nowitzki told ESPN Dallas. “Yeah, for sure, the way they fought that out in Game 7 was an unbelievable series, but we did get ’em.”

If the Mavs are able to land Dwight Howard this offseason, Nowitzki could get a third Finals meeting with the Heat to remind them of Dallas’ toughness.