5 NBA Superstars Who Are Nearing the End of Storied Careers
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Whether a player is nearing the end of a contract or simply becoming too old for the game, several superstars will definitely leave the game sooner than later.
All of them are desperately trying to put one last ring on their finger before their career is over for good.
Take a look at five players who are about to move on from basketball.
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Kobe Bryant, the man who constantly fights to keep the Lakers legacy alive, is definitely nearing the end of his career. It's tough to say when exactly he'll retire, but his contract expires at the end of the 2014 season and it wouldn't be a shocker if he ended his career then.
In a 2012 interview with CBS, Bryant revealed that "three more years seems like a really long time to continue to stay at a high, high level of training and preparation and health."
With the way the Lakers are looking currently, any fan would be hard-pressed to believe that Kobe would stick around another couple years to wait for the franchise to glue itself together.
Kobe will be missed most for his intangibles on the court. His fadeaway jumper is the best in the game, but his leadership skills and clutch performances outweigh any of his basketball shots.
Don't expect Kobe to go out calmly, though, as he's proven time and time again that adversity means nothing to him on the road to a championship.
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Dwyane Wade, the face of the Miami Heat franchise, is currently 31 and unfortunately isn't living up to his usual standards. The usual slice and dice aggression that made Wade a champion has lost some speed, losing the ferocity that once was there.
However like all the other superstars, Wade will show up when that ring comes within striking distance.
Wade's contract ends in 2016, which will make him 33 years old.
With the acquisition of LeBron James, Wade no longer has to push himself to be the leader and for the Heat.
He can leave the team without worrying about its future. And with that in mind, Wade can retire as arguably the most loyal and recognized Miami player of all time.
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Steve Nash has made it clear that moving to the Los Angeles Lakers was for one reason and one reason only: to get a championship ring of his own.
The fact that he would move out of Phoenix proves that he's nearing the end of his career. Nash wanted to move to a franchise while he still had the mobility to stay an elite point guard.
Obviously, not everything is going according to plan, but Phoenix fans should respect his loyalty throughout all these years. And Lakers fans should respect the sacrifices he's made to retire as a Laker.
Nash is still fighting for that elusive championship ring, and who knows which team will come out on top?
But one thing is for sure; time is ticking.
Nash has two years on his contract left, and fans speculate that he'll retire at the end of his current contract.
Will Nash leave the game as a champion, or will he be put on the list of "best players never to win a ring"?
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If Tim Duncan stays a San Antonio Spurs player, he'll be remembered as one of the most loyal players next to Kobe Bryant. During times where nothing worked for the Spurs, Tim Duncan stayed behind and never wavered.
Duncan is currently 36 and his contract will end in 2016, making him 39 if he plays until the end of his contract.
To keep the Spurs intact, Duncan took a huge pay cut and made it clear that championships mean more than the money.
However, the fact that he took such a huge pay cut shows that he will end his career soon. Duncan took a huge gamble to hopefully see his team lift up one more banner.
Sitting at 33-11, the best team in the regular reason hopes to becomes the best season in the postseason. And hopefully Tim Duncan can retire with one more ring on his finger.
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Kevin Garnett is notorious for his extremely competitive personality. Garnett will do anything and cross any line if he believes it gives his team a better chance to win.
The recent altercation with Carmelo Anthony proves that Garnett lets go of any personal emotions while in the game; he's in it for a win and nothing else.
While the Celtics were finalizing their roster for this year, Garnett pondered retirement but stayed on the team with hopes of fighting for another championship. The one twist to the story is that Garnett wanted to win with the same team that won in 2008, but Ray Allen had other plans.
Although the Celtics aren't looking the way they've looked in previous years, Garnett didn't delay retirement just to taunt opponents. He's here to win championships and with retirement seriously approaching, you can definitely look for one last push from the Celtics big man.