Dwyane Wade won his first NBA Championship at Dallas, in Texas’ American Airlines Center in 2006 when his Miami Heat beat the Dallas Mavericks in the NBA Finals.
Tonight in Dallas, he may play his last game, except…he might not play.
According to Dallas-based NBA scribe, Landon Buford, Wade is listed as questionable tonight.
Wade announced his retirement at season’s end, but his heroics for the Heat in the NBA Finals were memorable. The MVP of the Finals, Wade averaged 34.7 points per game in the series and in Game 6, Wade posted a remarkable 36 points to help the Heat win their first NBA Championship.
“He’s a legend, yeah he’s a legend,” Mark Cuban told Buford.
“Going down to Miami to play, when they come here, it was always something exciting, interesting different,” Mark Cuban told Landon Buford.
Wade is averaging 13.8 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.4 assists and the irony of tonight’s Heat/Mavericks matchup is that this will be the last time Dirk Nowitzki and Wade will face off.
Nowitzki, like Wade was a free agent two summers ago but was offered a two-year, $50 million deal to stay with the Mavericks.
Cuban tells me that this was more than Nowitzki asked for. “I basically told him, look, you tell me the price and it actually started lower,” Mark Cuban told me.
Wade’s return to Miami last season was a full circle moment after the future Hall of Famer left M-I-A in 2016 when the Heat refused to pay him what he thought he was worth.
“It’s been incredible battles between him, Dirk [Nowitzki], the Mavs and the Heat,” Cuban told Landon Buford today.
“I’m glad he’s finishing up with the Heat and all of these years it’s made for good rivalry. That’s good for the NBA and I’m happy for D-Wade.”
With 1.3 seconds remaining and tied at 79 apiece, Wade hit Hornets point guard Baron Davis with an ankle breaker crossover and drove to the basket making a running jumper amid the outstretched arm of Hornets center Jamaal Magloire.
The basket gave the Heat a 81-79 victory and Miami would end up winning the series in seven games. Kobe Bryant played his last game of his career in 2016 by dropping 60 points in a win over the Utah Jazz and Tim Duncan retired soon after. That said, Wade is the NBA’s elder statesmen.
“I knew he was a special player even back then,” Wade’s former Miami Heat teammate, Rafer Alston, told me.
“Even though he was young and still developing even back then, he had that ‘it’ factor.”