Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade are going to the NBA All-Star Game ... as players.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver named the two long-time stars as special roster team additions for the Feb. 17 game in Charlotte, N.C.
“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,” Silver said in a news 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.”
The All-Star appearance will be the 14th for Nowitzki, the long-time star of the Dallas Mavericks who is likely playing his final season. Wade, who is finishing his career with the Miami Heat, is making his 13th appearance.
Nowitzki and Wade will be available to be selected in the third round of the All-Star Draft on Thursday. Team captains LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the Milwaukee Bucks will pick from the 10 All-Star Game starters in the first round and the 14 reserves in the second round.
James will have the first pick in the third round to choose between Wade — his long-time friend and former teammate — and Nowitzki.
Nowitzki, 40, is averaging 4.4 points in 20 games this season since returning from ankle surgery. He ranks seventh all-time with 31,275 career points. He is the first player to play 21 seasons with the same team.
Wade, 37, is averaging 13.8 points in 39 games this season. He is one of three players in NBA history to record at least 20,000 points, 5,000 assists, 4,000 rebounds, 1,500 steals, 800 blocked shots and 500 three-pointers. James and Hall of Famer Michael Jordan are the others.
Both players have won NBA Finals MVP awards — Wade in 2006 and Nowitzki in 2011.
—Field Level Media