The Dwyane Wade farewell tour rolled into Dallas for the final time on Wednesday night as the Heat managed to get a 112-101 win over the Mavs in a game that was more about watching a couple of legends lace ’em up against each other than the actual outcome of the contest itself.
For Wade, it was another opportunity to prove that he’s still got something left in the tank as he finished with 22 points in just over 22 minutes of action with respectable shooting numbers, to boot. It was a bit less so the case for Dirk, who managed just 12 points on 5-14 from the field, but wasn’t shy about hoisting it up from downtown — despite the results — as he made just two of his 10 attempts from long-range.
Altogether, the future Hall-of-Famers shared a pair of touching moments, first when they checked into the game together in the opening quarter, then after the final buzzer when they met at center court to exchange jerseys, a ritual Wade has made a staple of his retirement tour here in his final season.
They have plenty to reminisce about as their careers have intersected at various points, including the 2006 Finals in which Wade and company emerged victorious after overcoming an 0-2 deficit, and the infamous 2011 Finals when Dirk exacted his revenge against the Big 3-era Heatles in their first season together, cementing his legacy as one of the game’s all-time greats in the process.
But this isn’t the last time they’ll see one another on the court. They both earned special All-Star emeritus status at the annual festivities in Charlotte next week, and they’ll have one more regular-season showdown back in Miami toward the end of March. Still, it was extremely cool to see two rivals and competitors show their mutual respect for one another as their respective careers wind down.