Probably every eminent basketball player would like to end his great career in the same way as Kobe Bryant, who scored 60 points in his last game and received a standing ovation in his home stadium in Los Angeles. But not everyone has that opportunity; After all, even the brightest stars in the NBA world are destined to disappear one day. Age, injuries and other difficulties often prevent you from leaving on your own terms.
In this material, “Championship” will tell about five legendary basketball players, whose last game in the NBA turned out, if not inglorious, to put it mildly, disappointing.
Statistics in the last game: 0 points (0/0 from the field), 0 rebounds, 0 assists, 0 steals, 0 blocks, “-2” for 1.40.
Dikembe Mutombo injured, 2009
Photo: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images
Dikembe Mutombo was one of the best defensive players and rebounders of the 90s era. In total, he led the NBA season in blocks and rebounds collected five times and also received four DPOY awards. The Congolese’s impressive career lasted 18 years, but ended on a lesser note.
Mutombo appeared on the court in the second game of the first round of the playoffs against Portland, which took place on April 21, 2009. He played only 100 seconds and did not make a single individual action, except for a personal foul, as a result of who suffered a fatal injury.
The center fought for position under the basket with Greg Oden, but ended up on the ground. He grabbed his knee, rolled on the floor and even cried, and left the scene on a stretcher. Then, due to a ruptured quadriceps tendon, Mutombo was forced to retire from basketball at the age of 42.
“This is not what I planned. But I had a great race and stayed injury free. I must leave with my head held high, without disappointments and without regrets. There have been many things in these 18 years that I can be grateful for. I made it to the NBA Finals, won the DPOY award, and led the season in blocks. I will smile and be happy about all my achievements.
No one ever thought the Big Guy would be pulled out of the arena. I came out like a wounded soldier. “I think it was one of the best memories, giving myself for this league, my team and my teammates,” he said in 2009.
Mutombo moment with Jordan:
“This is for you, honey.” Jordan gracefully mocked one of the NBA’s biggest giants. Video
Statistics in the last game: 0 points (0/0 from the field), 1 rebound, 0 assists, 0 steals, 1 block, “-2” for 6.14.
Yao Ming with Houston, 2010
Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Yao Ming, first overall pick in the 2002 draft and true Houston Rockets legend, witnessed Mutombo’s injury with his own eyes. There he spent the nine years of his overseas career, which ultimately ended prematurely (and rather sadly).
Min played his last NBA game on November 10, 2010. It was a match against Washington, which his Houston lost 91:98. The center himself was only on the floor for six minutes, during which he did not score a single field goal, but he did score a rebound and a block.
At that point, the Rockets had already had to limit Ming’s playing time to 24 minutes and not use him as a back-to-back, as the star player had undergone foot surgery the previous year and had been injured. lost the entire season. But Houston believed they could keep him healthy for the long term; after all, Yao Ming was only 30 years old at that time.
Unfortunately, in that same game with the Wizards, he left the court early after injuring his left ankle. Yao was initially expected to miss at least a week. Then the recovery period was delayed a little longer and he was then diagnosed with a stress fracture in his shin. In January 2011, the basketball player underwent surgery and was out until the end of the season, which was his last.
A look to the past:
Chinese invasion! How Yao Ming attended Michael Jordan’s training camp in 1997
Statistics in the last game: 0 points (0/2 from the field), 2 rebounds, 3 assists, 0 blocks, 0 steals, “+10” for 6.39.
Tracy McGrady during the final episode, 2013
Photo: Christian Petersen/Getty Images
Since 2001, when Tracy McGrady won the NBA’s Most Improved Player award, he has been one of the best small forwards of his era. McGrady became the season’s leading scorer twice in a row, was included in the symbolic top five in the same seasons, and was also selected to the All-Star Game seven times. At the same time, until his final season, T-Mac had never made it past the first round of the playoffs.
But that opportunity came to him in San Antonio, after spending a full season in China at the end of his career. In April 2013, the Spurs signed McGrady as a postseason reinforcement. As a result, he played six games for the team, two of which were in the finals against Miami, against LeBron James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.
Not only did the Spurs lose in seven games, but the 34-year-old Tracy’s last game in the NBA was forgettable: two misses, two rebounds and two assists in less than seven minutes on the court. It is curious that at the same time he played in San Antonio, against whom he once scored the legendary 13 points in 33 seconds.
Statistics in the last game: 3 points (1/2 from the field), 3 rebounds, 5 assists, 0 steals, 0 blocks, 1 turnover, “+2” for 13.10.
Steve Nash with the Lakers, 2013
Photo: Jeff Gross/Getty Images
Most of Steve Nash’s achievements, one of the greatest playmakers in NBA history, came during his time in Phoenix, where his number 13 was retired. However, his playing career ended in Los Angeles: Nash joined the Lakers’ all-star roster in 2012 and was supposed to help the team make another championship bid, but injuries prevented him from returning to his previous level.
A year later, in the 2013/2014 season, the point guard’s situation worsened. In that championship, he appeared on the court in only 15 games and found himself out of the starting five for the first time since 1999. Despite this, both the Lakers and Nash himself believed that he would spend one more year on the team before retiring. . However, due to a back injury, the 40-year-old guard never started his 19th NBA season.
Their last game took place on April 8, 2014. Then the Lakers, who were second to last in the Western Conference with a record of 25-53, lost to Houston by a difference of 15 points. Nash himself, although he gave five assists, scored only three points and played only 13 minutes. Not the brightest end to a legend’s career.
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Statistics in the last game: 0 points (0/0 from the field), 0 assists, 0 rebounds, 0 steals, 0 blocks, 2 personal fouls, “-2” for 3.31.
Shaquille O’Neal (left) with Boston, 2010
Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Shaquille O’Neal, a four-time NBA champion, was one of the most dominant players in history and competed at the highest level until he was 36 years old. After this, age and injuries began to take their toll, and at age 38, the legendary center retired.
He spent his final season with Boston, playing only 37 games due to problems with his right leg: knee, hip, shin, Achilles tendon; There were a large number of injuries. Because of this, O’Neal received cortisone injections several times.
However, the Celtics continued to believe he would replace Kendrick Perkins, who was traded at the deadline, at center. However, Shaq missed the end of the regular season and returned to action during the second round of the playoffs of the 2010/2011 season. At the time, the team’s rival was the Miami Heat, with whom O’Neal had won a championship ring several years earlier.
He played his last game on May 9, 2011. There were five proud zeros on Diesel’s stat line, and in total he played just over three minutes. This was the fourth game of the series, in which Boston lost 1-4. Three weeks later, O’Neal publicly announced his retirement from basketball.