The final week of the 2018-19 regular season is here and there are plenty of story lines to monitor across the NBA. While many will be focused on the battle for playoff position, a few legendary players may be winding down for the final time and, in two cases, there is legitimate uncertainty.
While Dwyane Wade has been very open about his retirement tour, Dirk Nowitzki and Vince Carter haven’t been, with Carter insinuating that he’ll attempt to return for the 2019-20 campaign. As for Nowitzki, the future Hall of Fame inductee has not declared any public intention to retire but, with the Dallas Mavericks set to miss the postseason, there will be extra attention paid to the team’s home finale on Apr. 9 against the Phoenix Suns.
In fact, Mavs owner Mark Cuban recently put the spotlight directly on Dallas for that evening.
“If you can get here for the last game, you want to be here for the last game in Dallas,” Cuban said to reporters this week. “It’s going to be a special night whether he likes it or wants it or not.”
This could be seen as an indication that the Mavericks expect Nowitzki to retire but, even if that isn’t the case, it would be wise for the organization to throw a big-time party in this particular instance. After all, Nowitzki is easily the most impactful player in the history of the franchise and, with Dallas not playing for much, the focus should be on the 7-footer throughout the evening.
Prominent figures like Wade, Carter and Nowitzki are certainly entitled to approach the stretch run of their careers in different fashion and it’s been entertaining to monitor. On Apr. 9, Nowitzki might be playing in front of the hometown faithful in Dallas for the final time and the owner of the franchise wants everyone to pay close attention.