A tribute to Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki

JERRIUS CAMPBELL, Sports Writer

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The NBA and collegiate regular season nears an end in the coming weeks. Notable NBA stars Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade are in the final stretch of their careers, two outstanding ones closing out.

Nowitzki was drafted with the 9th pick of the 1998 NBA draft to the Milwaukee Bucks, who traded him on draft day to the Dallas Mavericks. Nowitzki went on to play 21 seasons, all in Dallas, being named to the All-Star team from 2002-2006. The seven-footer won the NBA Finals in the 2011 season over the Miami Heat and made a major impact to the NBA in every season he played in.

Although he has always been compared to Larry Bird, Celtics great, he will finish his career having made a name for himself. The Mavericks big man had a shot of his own and made defenders pay from deep to long-range for two decades. Nowitzki will finish his career on 7th all-time in career points at 31,340.

Miami Heat star Wade faced off against Nowitzki numerous times over the years. The explosive guard was drafted fifth in the 2003 draft by the Heat and after 16 years in the NBA, Wade won three championships (2006, 2012, 2013) with his original franchise.

In the 2006 NBA finals alongside Shaquille O’Neal, Wade made his presence known  by scoring 42 points in a close 98-96 win over the Mavericks in game three of the finals, catapulting a four-game winning streak to take home the championship. Wade would also score 36 points for the Heat in a hard fought 95-92 win to seal the Championship for Miami.

In 2011, current Lakers star LeBron James and Wade teamed up with Chris Bosh in Miami in light of making a Big Three in the East. The Big Three would not win the championship their first season together in 2011, but after a few chemistry tweaks, the Heat landed two championships in 2012 and 2013.

Fans in the Miami area changed their nickname to Wade County after Wade made a very memorable career in Miami (Dade County).

For fans around the league, it is hard to grasp the fact that two legends will be finishing their careers in 2019.

Head Coach for the Los Angeles Clippers Doc Rivers expressed his appreciation in Monday night’s Clippers versus Mavericks game in Los Angeles. As Rivers publicly recognized Nowitzki, a roaring crowd greeted Nowitzki with open arms as a living legend who will be missed by all sports fans.

For Wade, many players have expressed their appreciation for him as he finishes off his career on his home-court in Miami.

Players like Devin Booker, Bradley Beal and Hassan Whiteside all have spoken up in the farewell tour for Wade. Beal made it known that the only reason he wears the number three is due to Wade being his favorite basketball player.

Stories like this only come around so often, and it’s fascinating to reflect on such great players and what they have done for the sport of basketball.

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