In the heat of the moment with the game on the line, players do what they feel like they have to do. During a matchup in mid-November, the Dallas Mavericks were looking to get a crucial defensive stop against the Miami Heat. The Mavs’ defense put LeBron James in a bind, and with no other options left, he hit a classic Dirk Nowitzki one-foot fadeaway jumper.

In an interview with ESPN Dallas, Nowitzki said the shot didn’t go unnoticed.

“Yeah, I actually saw that,” Nowitzki said with a grin. “I looked at him and gave him a smirk. It was a heck of a shot. ... I didn’t think he’d shoot a one-legger. It looked pretty smooth. I’ve got to give it to him. He made it look easy.”

Was James trying to get back at Nowitzki and the Mavs for what happened in 2011 through imitating Nowitzki’s shot? Actually, it was the farthest thing from that.

"No, it was a show of respect," James told reporters in Miami after the game. "Dirk is one of my favorite guys. I love the way he approaches the game, the way he plays the game, he's amazing, obviously, we all know that. But I took that from him. I don't do that as well as him, though. He's been doing it a lot longer than me."

That comment was made just a little over a week after Oklahoma City Thunder scoring machine Kevin Durant continued to profess his admiration for the Dallas forward. As Oklahoma City and Dallas have squared off in the playoffs over recent years, Durant has been very open about his respect for Nowitzki and wanting to use his shot. Durant mentioned that when he was 13, Nowitzki was 23 and the young gunner was already working on Nowitzki’s patented shot.

“Sorry I’m making Dirk seem a little bit old, but that’s when I started focusing on Dirk, and he became one of my favorite players to ever play this game,”

Durant told reporters prior to the game between the Mavs and the Thunder in early November, “I just tried it one day when I was working out in the summer. It was rougher than I thought it was going to be, so it took me some time to figure it out, but I think I’m doing all right with it.”