Usually the end of the regular season in any sport is uneventful. It’s almost always the case that the playoff seeding has been determined and usually it’s a chance for those stars to get some much needed rest as they gear up for a chance at the title.
However, sometimes it’s not that simple and teams are still fighting for a chance to actually make it into the playoffs. Sometimes legendary players retire. And sometimes people are fired or quit.
Here are all the crazy things that happened on the last week of the NBA regular season.
Professional sports are an ingrained part of American culture and you can point to billion dollar revenues from stadium-attendance, apparel purchasing, and mega-television deals.
What was fascinating in 2016 during the final day of the NBA regular season was that the Golden State Warriors breaking the “unbreakable” Chicago Bulls regular season record was eclipsed by an insignificant Los Angeles Lakers game when Kobe Bryant dropped 60 points in a final effort.
The Lakers weren’t making the playoffs. It was purely because it was Kobe’s last game. Nobody had a retirement tour quite like Kobe.
But two legends and future Hall of Famers, Dwyane Wade, and Dirk Nowitzki, got a pretty great send-off as well.
Nowitzki addressed the Mavericks crowd after his last home game by saying, “I left Germany 20 years ago and I became a Texan.”
What was really extraordinary too was when Spurs head coach, Gregg Popovich, encouraged his players to step away and let Nowitzki shoot a last shot. Of course, Nowitzki drained it. He’s inarguably the greatest European to enter the NBA and one of the greatest power forwards ever. He will be missed.
Dwyane Wade is the greatest Miami Heat player ever and arguably the third greatest shooting guard in NBA history, just behind Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant.
Wade got two epic tribute videos. One was from Budweiser that was really touching.
This Budweiser tribute video for Dwyane Wade is one of the best ever 😭💯 pic.twitter.com/GsHK3iaZ52
— Athlete Swag (@AthleteSwag) April 9, 2019
And the other was from the Miami Heat, which was also really touching.
The Dwyane Wade tribute video is must-watch.
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) April 9, 2019
In his final home game on Tuesday, Wade lit up the scoreboard with 30-points. And in his very final game, away at the Brooklyn Nets, Wade posted a triple-double with 25 points 11 rebounds and 10 assists. Also, his best friends – LeBron James, Chris Paul, and Carmelo Anthony were in attendance to see it.
Also, Wade collided with John Legend and Christine Teigen, which is an absolutely hilarious picture.
— Miami Herald Sports (@HeraldSports) April 10, 2019
Then President of Basketball Operations of the Los Angeles Lakers, Magic Johnson suddenly quit.
It was one of the weirdest press conferences in the history of sports. Johnson gathered press around and flatly told them that he was quitting.
What was most alarming about the press conference is his admission that he hadn’t informed his good friend, Lakers owner Jeanie Buss, of his decision because he was basically too scared to do so.
He cried. He laughed. It was incredibly bizarre but also childish. It was a side of Johnson the public had never seen before.
— theballoutmedia (@theballoutmedia) April 10, 2019
After the press conference, he admitted to ESPN’s Rachel Nichols that he couldn’t tell his friend, Jeanie, of his departure because he feared they would both cry and that he would end up staying with the team.