Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki both played their final NBA games on April 10. They both scored over 20 points in their games, but the Miami Heat and Dallas Mavericks were unable to win their games.
Both players are legends of the game and Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant, who recently retired, had a message for them on his Twitter account.
“Playing an entire career with one organization is a testament to who you are as a person @swish41 I loved and hated competing against you. Enjoy retirement my brother you deserve it,” Kobe wrote of Dirk.
Bryant also praised D-Wade saying, “Congrats on a GREAT career @DwyaneWade Way to close it out in style my brother. Welcome to the rocking chair club.”
Wade is considered by many experts to be the second-best shooting guard of his time, behind only Bryant. The Heat guard is a 13-time NBA All-Star, a three-time NBA champion, and the 2006 Finals MVP. His triple-double against the Brooklyn Nets is a prime example of his playmaking ability.
Nowitzki is a 14-time NBA All-Star, the 2006 NBA MVP, and the 2011 NBA Finals MVP. The German forward is responsible for bringing in the stretch four to the modern NBA. The rise of shooting big men in the NBA can be directly attributed to his success.
While Nowitzki only shot 8-21 from the floor in his final NBA game but he still finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds. The German big man broke Bryant’s record for most consecutive seasons with a single franchise. Nowitzki spent all 21 of his NBA seasons with the Dallas Mavericks.
Wade spent 14 of his 16 NBA seasons with the Miami Heat, but he was not the same player on the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers. The Chicago native is the Heat’s all-time leader in points, assists, steals, minutes, and games played. Nowitzki leads the Mavericks in almost every statistical category, except assists and steals.
Their impact on the game will be felt for generations to come. Nowitzki’s influence on the NBA is seen everyday with the increase of big guys shooting from the perimeter. Wade is the best shot-blocking guard in NBA history and more guards are becoming better shot-blockers because of him.
Nowitzki and Wade are two legends of the NBA and their careers will be remembered for a long time. They may not be held in the same regard as Bryant, but both players will enjoy their retirements with their families.