By Max Lemmon
As the NBA continues to evolve into a fast-paced, shooting league and phases away from the more traditional, slower, one-on-one style of play, we look back on the careers of two of the most prominent stars of yesterday’s league, Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade. Both legends retired at the end of this last season, marking the end of an era of dominant 2000s superstars, as the only remaining players from that era are a 41-year-old Vince Carter and a 34-year-old Lebron James, whose domination began in
Nowitzki, who, at the height of his career, averaged 27 points, nine rebounds and three assists a game, was a 14-time All-star, an MVP, and an NBA Champion, winning finals MVP, after coming back from 2-0 and besting LeBron’s 2011 Heat in six games. Nowitzki was one of the first prominently recognized European stars in the NBA. He was famous for his signature move: the one-legged, turnaround, post fade-away, which he used to land himself the 6th spot on the all time scoring list, at 31,560 total points. He also played a Dallas Maverick franchise record 22 seasons with the team, which is also an NBA record for most seasons played consecutively on a single team.
He closed out his final Dallas home game with 30 points, eight rebounds, seven assists, and a block, in a game whose tickets cost more than any other Mav’s game ever, with $272 for an average seat. A player and man truly beloved by the NBA, he is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, and will be missed.
Next, Dwyane Wade, the Miami Heat’s most beloved player, maybe second only to James, finished the last game of his 16 season career on Apr. 9, during which he dropped a triple double on the Nets, with 25 points, 11 rebounds, 11 assists and
Dwyane Wade is a 3-time NBA champ and Finals MVP, as well as a 12-time All-star. In his prime, he averaged 30 points, five rebounds, 7.5 assists, 2.2 steals, and 1.3 blocks, which demonstrates his prowess on both ends of the court. Wade is a 2-time scoring leader, number 10 in playoff scoring, and an Olympic gold medalist. He is known for his post fadeaway, uncanny defensive ability which allowed him to lead guards in blocks, and bringing Miami their first NBA title.
Neither of these players can be done sufficient justice in so little words, but each player affected the game irreversibly and irrefutably, modeling grit, determination, and insane work ethics.