End of an era: Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki retire

The duo combined for 27 All-Star appearances and 4 NBA titles in their tenure

Andrew Neururer
Staff Writer

The NBA will look a lot different next year now that two iconic superstars will no longer be playing, as Miami Heat guard Dwayne Wade and Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki have both retired after having two of the best careers the league has ever seen.

Wade, a 37-year-old veteran guard who’s played 15 seasons in the NBA, spent most of his time with the Miami Heat, playing with the organization from 2003-2016 and then back for another run from 2017 on. He did venture north, playing for the Chicago Bulls and Cleveland Cavaliers for one season each.

After the way the season was going for the Cavaliers, Wade was eventually able to come back to the city that drafted him. It’s only fitting that he was able to end his great career with the team that he spent most of his career with.

Wade finishes his career averaging 22 points, 5.4 assists, 4.7 rebounds, 1.5 steals and 0.8 blocks. Over the span of his 15 years, he was a 13-time All-Star, 3-time NBA champion, 8-time All-NBA, 3-time All-Defensive player and was on the 2003-04 All-Rookie team. He has a lengthy list of achievements and will go down as one of the best to ever play the game.

Nowitzki is one of the rare few who play their entire career with the team that drafted him. Nowitzki entered the league as a rookie for the Dallas Mavericks during the 1998-1999 season and leaves Vince Carter as the only other 40-year-old player in the league. 

Nowitzki, much like Wade, has a lengthy list of achievements along his 20-year career. He was a 14-time All-Star, 12-time All-NBA, 2010-11 NBA champion and won the 2006-2007 MVP. By the end of his career, Nowitzki finished sixth on the all-time scoring list – scoring a whopping 31,540 points when it was all said and done.

He finishes his career averaging 20.7 points, 7.5 rebounds, 2.4 assists, 0.8 steals and blocks per game. He will go down as one of the all-time greats to play the game and has left a mark on the game. 

He was one of the first seven footers to shoot 3-pointers and has since revolutionized the game. Now it’s almost imperative that centers and power forwards can shoot the ball from distance. Each year players that play in the post are slowly fading out. Even players that have never shot 3-pointers before have since changed the way they play to stay relevant in the league.

Both Wade and Nowitzki end their careers as one of the best to play the game and have made a large impact both on and off the court. Budweiser released a video tribute for Wade’s last home game, highlighting the great things he’s done off the court. It’s a cool video and it just goes to show that it really is bigger than basketball. 

The Heat and Mavericks will look a lot different with their iconic superstars no longer in the league, but both have had successful careers and have left a lasting legacy for years 

Header photo courtesy of the Associated Press.

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