The day we thought would never come is finally upon us: both Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki have officially retired from the NBA, earning nothing but love and respect from his peers, rivals, and fans all over the world.
Both of them left the hardwood on quite a high note, recording great performances for their respective squads, even though neither of them was able to lead their teams to the playoffs this time.
But, how did other NBA legends fare during their very last outing? Some of them thrived, while others proved why they had to retire in the first place. Today, we’ll take a look at the last game of the top 10 legends that retired from 2010 until now.
Honorable Mention: Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, Tracy McGrady, Grant Hill
10. Shaquille O’Neal
05/09/2011 - 0 points, 0 assists, 0 rebounds
Shockingly, the most dominant big man in the history of the game was unable to log a single positive stat during his last outing on an NBA hardwood. Notably, his tenure with the Boston Celtics wasn’t exactly the peak of his career, but him logging just 3:31 minutes on a playoff loss was just sad for such a legendary player.
9. Jason Kidd
05/18/2013 - 0 points, 1 assist, 1 steal
Jason Kidd was barely seeing any playing time at all when he decided to call it a day. Still, he had a key leadership role off the bench for his New York Knicks. Sadly, he couldn’t go the way he would’ve wanted, as he went scoreless in just 6:23 minutes on a 7-point loss against the Pacers in the playoffs.
8. Kevin Garnett
01/23/2016 - 2 points, 0 assists, 0 rebounds
We’re all glad Kevin Garnett had the chance to go full circle and retire as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves after pursuing glory with the Boston Celtics. The Big Ticket was a fierce competitor and one of the hardest working guys ever to lace them up. Gladly, his team was able to get a W the last time he was around, but he spent most of the season inactive afterward.
7. Steve Nash
04/08/2014 - 3 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 three-pointer
Steve Nash was mightily struggling to stay healthy after joining the Lakers to try and retire as a Champion next to Kobe Bryant, something that, sadly, didn’t end up happening. The 2-time MVP spent most of the season inactive before logging just 13:00 minutes on a blowout loss against the Houston Rockets.
6. Manu Ginóbili
04/24/2018- 10 points, 7 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 three-pointer
Manu Ginóbili recently became the latest member of the Spurs organization to have his jersey hanging high in the rafters after winning 4 NBA Championships with the team. He left the Spurs on quite a high note after recording an astonishing game-winning block on James Harden as a 40-year-old legend.
5. Allen Iverson
02/20/2010 - 13 points, 3 assists, 1 rebound
Allen Iverson is one of the biggest legends of the game never to win an NBA Championship. Sadly, he was vastly mistreated on his way out of the league, kind of the same way Carmelo Anthony has been looked at right now. At least, the Answer had the chance to light it up one last time for his beloved Philadelphia 76ers, even though his team was blown out by the Chicago Bulls.
4. Tim Duncan
05/12/2016 - 19 points, 0 assists, 5 rebounds, 1 block
With the Spurs knocked out of Championship contention by the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Big Fundamental decided it was time to call it a day already. He’s the only player to be a part of all of the 5 titles in franchise history, and he was one of the top 5 best big men this game has ever seen. Nobody can hate on him, not now, not ever.
3. Dirk Nowitzki
04/10/2019 - 20 points, 1 assist, 10 rebounds, 1 steal, 2 three-pointers
Dirk went out in style against the Spurs, with Gregg Popovich urging his players to just let him shoot. Notably touched and emotional, the Great Teuton gave us another night full of highlights from the guy that changed the power forward spot and the way the game is played nowadays. We just can’t stress enough how influential and huge Dirk was for this sport.
2. Dwyane Wade
04/10/2019 - 25 points, 10 assists, 11 rebounds, 1 block, 3 three-pointers
Dwyane Wade put the cherry on top of the sundae, logging his 5th career triple-double (and his first since 2011) during his very last dance. With the Banana Boat Crew in attendance, the Flash gave all fans a last glimpse of his greatness before retiring at age 37, even though we all feel as if he could play for a little longer.
1. Kobe Bryant
04/13/2016 - 60 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block, 6 three-pointers
Kobe was just going to go for 60 during his final game. We all knew that, and we were just rooting for that. He took 50 shots (21 three-pointers) en route to a 60 point outing and a win against the Utah Jazz before going out the only way he knew how: with a mic-drop. Mamba OUT!