SPANISH HARLEM – Last night, two of the best NBA players to ever played the game played their last home game. Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade said their good byes before thousands of fans who wanted to show their love and support for the very last time. Both players scored 30 points and it was only fitting that two players who have so much history together would scored the exact same amount of points in the end. While neither will be going to the playoffs, they each made a name for themselves when it matter the most… on the big stage.
Lets take a quick look at both their careers.
Dirk Nowitzki waited until the last game of year to tell the world that this season would be his last. While many believed that he would retire, he never really made. He wasn’t the most famous basketball of his era but he will go down as one the best power forwards and pure shooters the game as ever seen. Watching Nowitzki shoot the lights out was a sight to behold, it always seemed that when he was on fire, the ball would never touch the rim because it was all net. He literally invented the position Stretch 4, as a big man that can space the floor before the league realized how important that can be to a team.
He was one of the last players I remember winning an NBA Championship as the main guy, with their second best players being Jason Kidd, who was very much on the down side of his career. Don’t get me wrong, that 2011 Dallas Mavericks had a good core and a very good bench but they weren’t the of type of team that we have become accustom to, with superstars teaming up to win a Championship. He might be the one guy and the only guy other teams feared and that may be the reason I respect him so much. Not only that but he beat the team made infamous for that, the Miami Heat.
Speaking of the Heat, Dwyane Wade made his presence felt and became a Superstar in the eyes of many when he beat Dirk Nowitzki and the Mavs single-handedly in 2006 to win his first Championship in only his second season in the league. He will go down as one of the best two guards to ever play the game and will probably be more famous as the guy that brought Lebron James and Chris Bosh to Miami. That started another run of Finals appearances that ended with two more titles to his resume.
Wade was truly special with the ball in his hands, I remember watching him in Marquette when they made NCAA tournament. A triple-double later against Kentucky and I remember thinking “who is this guy“. He really could do it all, one of the best rebounding guards in the league and an exceptional passer. He also had the unique ability as a slasher to use speed and brute force to get to the rim, which is why he wore down towards the end of his career. Regardless of what you may think of him, he was a great player in one of the greatest eras in Basketball.
Both Dirk and Wade will be remember fondly by the people that got to see them player at their highest level and deservedly so.
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