The two legends have been specially chosen after being bypassed as starters and reserves due to their “extraordinary contributions as iconic NBA champions and beloved ambassadors and in recognition of their All-Star careers,” according to a press release from the NBA released Friday.
“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,” said Silver. “As a global celebration of basketball, our All-Star Game is an ideal setting to salute these first-class NBA champions and Finals MVPs.”
Wade would have likely started in the old system of tabulating fan votes for All-Star starters, but now the fans only count for half of the final total of votes, with players and the media each with 25%.
The two future Hall of Famers will now be selected by team captains LeBron James and Giannis Antetokounmpo in a specially created third round of the All-Star Draft, which means that 13 players will be selected for each team.
Fans clearly wanted to see Wade play in the All-Star game in his final NBA season, so this is a great move by Silver and the NBA to ensure that will happen and it’ll be emotional to see him get to play one last time with the best players in the league, including former Heat teammate LeBron James.
The 68th NBA All-Star Game will be played on Sunday, Feb. 17 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.