If you’re a long time NBA fan, you’ve definitely witnessed some huge milestones achieved by the most gifted players ever, taking their respective teams to the ultimate glory before deciding to retire.
Either because what they’ve done on an individual level or because what they’ve given the franchise and the community, some players will never be forgotten by the organization regardless of if they wind up leaving the team.
Basketball is a business and more often than not, some legendary ballers wind up leaving their longtime team to find success elsewhere, either because the team’s front office doesn’t have them in their long-term plans or because their talents would be better suited elsewhere.
Today, we’re going to let you know about 7 players that were legendary for their teams and where they should retire.
7. Rajon Rondo – Boston Celtics
Rondo was always very close to the Boston community, even taking the subway to some home games at times, and he was a huge part of the last Celtics championship alongside Pierce, Allen and Garnett.
Rajon left the team after 8 years to have failed stints at Dallas, Sacramento and Chicago, while he’s now part of the Pelicans. Still, he’s always been quite vocal regarding what happens in Boston, and he was one of the team’s ultimate leaders with his pesky two-way play, constantly being among the league’s leaders in assists and steals.
6. Pau Gasol – Memphis Grizzlies
The older of the Gasol brothers was the first one of the Spanish dynasty at Memphis until he finally left to play with the Los Angeles Lakers with Memphis struggling to contend despite Gasol’s greatest efforts in both ends of the court.
Pau is considered to be one of the best foreign players in the history of the league and his deal to the Lakers actually got the Grizzlies his younger brother Marc and considering he’s a lock to end his career at the Grindhouse, wouldn’t it be great to see Pau retiring playing side by side with his younger brother?
5. Jason Terry – Dallas Mavericks
Jason Terry is pretty much a journeyman, but there’s absolutely no doubt that he had his better NBA years playing with the Dallas Mavericks when he was fundamental to the team’s title run against the Miami Heat.
Terry was so confident about the Mavs’ chances, that he actually had a tattoo of them winning the NBA Championship at the very start of the season, and his veteran leadership and clutch shooting from beyond the arc were one of the main reasons why they were able to pull it off.
4. Manu Ginobili – San Antonio Spurs
Manu Ginobili came from overseas as an unknown talented player that was supposed to be the most talented player in Europe at the time, but that most people thought wasn’t worthy of a shot at the NBA thinking he was a slow, unathletic and a bad defender.
Obviously, he managed to prove all his doubters wrong, being one of the smartest players in the history of the league, a dominant two-way player and an extension of Popovich in the hardwood. Also, he’s been a key element in 4 NBA Championships, going down as one of the best 6th men in the history of the game.
3. Dirk Nowitzki – Dallas Mavericks
Dirk Nowitzki is the face of the Dallas Mavericks, he’s always been and he’ll always be, being considered the best shooting big man in the history of the league and recording over 30 thousand career points over a 20 season span.
Nowitzki led the Mavericks to the Championship, won the MVP award and is one of the most gifted scorers this game has ever seen, as well as being a huge part of the Dallas community from day one.
2. Vince Carter – Toronto Raptors
Vince Carter made the Toronto Raptors interesting, he just single-handedly put them on the basketball map. Playing there from 1999 to 2004, he was just a human highlight and one of the most dominant scorers in the league at the time.
Arguably his better years came later with the Nets, considering he managed to make a Finals run, still, it would be great to see one of the best players to ever lace them up finish an outstanding career where all things started.
1. Dwyane Wade – Miami Heat
Finally, Dwyane Wade is back home, as it was just odd to see him wearing other teams jerseys after spending most of his career on an organization he led to 3 Championships as a key element in all of those Championship runs.
Wade is the ultimate Miami Heat player and there’s absolutely no doubt that his jersey will be hanging forever in the rafters, as well as earning the honor to have his figure immortalized with a statue just outside of the American Airlines Arena. Obviously, he’s not going to leave the team again, and he’s a lock to finish his career right where he should.