As Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki wind down their NBA careers — the former having already announced his retirement at the end of the season, while the latter’s future is still up in the air — the league has decided to make both of them All-Stars one last time.
In an incredibly cool gesture by the NBA, the two legends will be included in a special third round of the upcoming NBA All-Star draft, in which LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo will select their respective rosters for the All-Star Game on live television for the first time. The first round will find James and Antetokounmpo selecting from the pool of starters, the second round will include the 14 All-Star reserves, and the newly added third round will feature Wade and Nowitzki.
“Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade embody the best of the NBA: remarkable skill, drive and professionalism as well as a deep devotion to strengthening their communities and growing the game around the world,” NBA commissioner Adam Silver said in a press release. “As a global celebration of basketball, our All-Star Game is an ideal setting to salute these first-class NBA champions and Finals MVPs.”
For Nowitzki, this will be his 14th All-Star selection in his 21 seasons in the NBA, and the first time he’s made it to the game since 2015. It could end up being a busy weekend for him, as Nowitzki has already been invited to participate in the three-point contest. For Wade, he now becomes a 13-time All-Star. He was MVP of the 2010 All-Star Game, and will participate in the festivities for the first time since 2016.
The 2019 NBA All-Star Draft takes place live on Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. on TNT. While we’ll have to wait until then to find out which team gets Wade and which team gets Nowitzki, but seeing as how one of the captains is LeBron James, well, it’s probably safe to assume how round three of drafting is going to go down.