On Tuesday night, Dirk Nowitzki and Dwayne Wade played their final games in front of home fans in Dallas and Miami respectively. It was a special night for both players, as two legendary 2000s players said goodbye to the fans they spent a majority of their careers with.
Considered two of the best at their positions, Wade and Nowitzki gave home fans unforgettable performances.
Wade had announced before the beginning of the season that it would be his last. On his ‘One Last Dance’ farewell tour around the league, Wade has famously exchanged jerseys with NBA players and fans alike.
The Heat were eliminated from playoff contention the same night, with Tuesday’s game against Philadelphia being the last time Heat fans would see Wade play.
In his 17 NBA seasons, Wade spent 15 years in Miami, making 13 All-Star Games, winning three NBA titles, and one Finals MVP award among several other All-NBA selections.
Wade has averages of 22.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists with Miami.
In his final home game, Wade made it a night to remember, scoring 30 points as the Heat beat the Sixers 122-99. Wade embraced his home crowd after the win.
Dirk Says Goodbye to Dallas
For Dirk Nowitzki, retirement was still up in the air leading up to last night. Despite thoughts of returning for a 22nd season with the Dallas Mavericks, an emotional Nowitzki announced his impending retirement after the Mavericks defeated the Suns 120-109.
"This was my last home game."
There wasn't a dry eye in the house as Dirk Nowitzki officially announced his NBA retirement. pic.twitter.com/JHWVFCOmHM
— ESPN Australia & NZ (@ESPNAusNZ) April 10, 2019
A rare case, Nowitzki spent his entire lengthy career with the one franchise. With career averages of 20.7 points and 7.5 rebounds, Nowitzki will be remembered as the greatest player in Mavericks history.
Among his accolades are 14 All-Star selections, a regular season MVP Award, and leading Dallas to a title in 2011 where he would be crowned Finals MVP.
In his last home game, Nowitzki, who played minimally this year and averaged only 7.1 points, would go on to score 30 points and grab eight rebounds.
Wade and Nowitzki will go down as two of the best players of their era, and were recognized as such in this year’s All-Star Game.
Dueling twice in the NBA Finals, each player got the better of one another. Wade would average 34.7 points against Dallas in 2006, and Nowitzki would average 26 points and 10 rebounds in 2011.
Next season, it will be very different seeing the Mavericks and Heat take the court without two NBA legends.
However, Tuesday night’s games were special home send-offs for the future Hall of Famers. Their performances, along with Kobe Bryant’s last game, will be remembered as some of the most special moments in NBA history.
Featured image credited to USA Today.
Stats credited to basketball-reference.com.