Two legendary superstars and future basketball Hall of Famers (HOF) said their final goodbyes to the sport

By Nicole Ganglani | Photo from NBA

If you’ve been following Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki over the years, you know that today’s matches were one of the most emotional basketball games in history. The two best players to have ever played for their respective franchises said their farewells to their sport once and for all in their last home games of the season.

D’Wade’s One Last Dance

Since the start of the season, everyone knew that this was going to be Wade’s final year. The three-time NBA champion did not disappoint in his last game after putting up 30 points against the Philadelphia 76ers.

Wade was honoured with several tribute videos before the game tip-off. The videos focused on the highlights of his impressive career including the time he was selected fifth overall in the 2003 draft up to his final year.

The 13 time all-star then gave his farewell speech after the emotional tribute.

One of the many special tributes prepared for Wade was by former United States President Barack Obama who thanked the superstar for his contributions to the game.

After the final buzzer rang, Wade went straight to the front court to thank the Miami Heat fans. This was Wade’s last home game ever and something that will always be remembered in basketball history.

Dirk’s Last Hoorah

Meanwhile, a similar scene took place 1,100 miles away in Dallas for Dirk Nowitzki. Unlike Wade, Nowitzki formally announced his retirement only in his last game following the Mavericks’ 120-109 victory over the Phoenix Suns. 

As if the night wasn’t special enough for Mavs fans, Nowtiszki showcased his special fadeaway—his signature move throughout his career.

Nowitzki was honoured in the arena right until the end of the game. All eyes were on Dirk as he led the Mavs with 30 points—ironically similar to Wade. The NBA champion was honored by Charles Barkley, Scottie Pippen, Larry Bird, Rick Carlisle, Shawn Kemp, and Detlef Schrempf who all took time to address Nowitzki’s remarkable career.

And there goes Nowitzki, leaving the game he’s devoted all his life to.

According to NBA.com, both Wade and Nowitzki leave the game of basketball having combined of nearly 55,000 career points, 2,600 career games, 28 playoff appearances and with at least 32 major team records. 

It was an emotional day for basketball as we saw two of the best players leave the game. We may no longer see Wade or Nowitzki play an NBA game ever again but one thing’s for sure: Their legacies will forever be remembered in basketball history.