Coming to terms with the end of anything is often difficult.
A great movie needs to wrap up at some phase. A classic game is only truly a classic once it’s in the rearview mirror. And even the best athletes have to see the writing on the wall for when it’s time to call it a career.
Every star athlete has been forced to face their athletic mortality. Hotshots like Brett Favre, Emmitt Smith, and Kobe Bryant were either forced out or limped their route to the finish line.
Michael Strahan, John Elway, and others took advantage of a perfect define to cap their career. Others like Jim Brown and Barry Sanders opted to preserve their bodies and leave the game with fans still asking for more.
It’s tough to know which path is best traveled, but you still typically know when the time is right.
That seems to be the case right now for Dallas Mavericks star big human Dirk Nowitzki.
While Nowitzki hasn’t officially retired and said this is his final year in the NBA, he’s now 40 years old and surely looks like a guy who shouldn’t be playing professional basketball.
There’s a prop bet available about whether he’s going to retire, and I look at that below. I also assess some other starring athletes who should be thinking about retirement.
Is Dirk Nowitzki Going to Retire?
The timing is right.
Nowitzki is old, has lost any of his explosiveness, and would be leaving the Mavs in great hands.
Not only is likely Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic prepared to carry the franchise on his own, but former New York Knicks starring forward Kristaps Porzingis( who Dallas traded for this year) is slated to re-sign with the team long-term this summer.
On paper, Nowitzki couldn’t have a better send-off, and this moment in a recent Mavs vs. Clippers game signaled that even Dirk is starting to see this is probably it.
Doc called a timeout to stop the game so Clippers players and fans could devote Dirk a standing ovation pic.twitter.com/ G0yV99Qr8R
— Bleacher Report (@ BleacherReport) February 26, 2019
Dirk Nowitzki didn’t looks just like a guy that planned on coming back for another year, and sports bettors are likely taking notice.
I was a little surprised to even see this NBA player prop bet available, but over at the SportsBetting.ag sportsbook, you are able to set fund down on whether this is indeed it for Nowitzki.
Yes-300 No +200
The price candidly isn’t bad no matter which way you’re tilted. I tend to agree with the top NBA sportsbooks here and think he’s done. I mean, at least physically and probably emotionally, the guy is dried up and has nothing left to offer.
The only real question is if he simply loves hanging out with the team and thinks he can still serve a role as a situational three-point shooter.
Nowitzki has already embraced a far smaller role than he’s been accustomed to, but if he actually gives himself a good, hard look in the mirror, he’ll consider his game has slipped drastically.
Just looking at his shooting percentages( 35% overall, 31% from deep ), Nowitzki is no longer an asset. He’s a fun novelty, and the Mavs would have him back if he wanted to keep playing, but in every style imaginable, this is it.
PICKYes-300 Other Star Athletes That Need to Retire
Dirk Nowitzki is wrapping up an amazing career. I’m sure the Mavs would welcome him back, and I bet part of him even will consider biding on for one last run.
But this has to be the end, and he’s far from the only guy out there that needs to hang’em up and move on in life.
Looking across sports, I’ve assembled some of the biggest names that have made an impact in their respective sport but need to retire.
Jason Witten- Dallas Cowboys
The last thing anyone wants to do is stimulate that dreaded “athletes that should have retired sooner” listing. Curiously enough, Jason Witten avoided that group merely in time when he actually retired last offseason.
That retirement didn’t stick, however, as Witten recently announced his return to the Dallas Cowboys.
— NFL (@ NFL) February 28, 2019
The fire apparently still burns, but Witten’s athleticism had already been sapped, and he’s missed an entire year of football.
No longer a huge difference-maker and going on age 37, Witten should reconsider and find something else to do.
Marshawn Lynch- Oakland Raiders
Another NFL-er that probably needs to let football go is Beast Mode himself, Marshawn Lynch.
The former Seattle Seahawks great and Super Bowl champion unretired two years ago to help out his hometown Oakland Raiders, but that marriage has been less than effective.
Lynch was actually plenty productive for the Raiders the last two years, compiling 10 rushing ratings and averaging 4.2 yards per carry. However, he missed 10 games due to trauma in 2018, and his presence didn’t lead to many wins.
With the Raiders clearly rebuilding and Lynch going on 33, he might as well call it a career. If he does opt to keep playing, latching on with a team with a better shot at a title( Looter have horrendous +12500 Super Bowl 54 odds at Bovada.lv) may be a smart move.
Adam Vinatieri- Indianapolis Colts
Kickers historically can play longer than any other posture in pro football simply because they suffer less wear and tear. They also only need to remain effective at one thing, so feel free to add Matt Bryant, Phil Dawson, or whatever aging kicker you want to the list.
Nobody really tops Vinatieri, however.
Not only is Vinatieri the oldest kicker in the league right now( 46 ), but he’s pushing 50 and still booting kickings at an elite level. Simply last year, the former New England Patriots star knocked in 85% of his kickings and has remained effective beyond 50 yards.
Indy already retained him for 2019, but Vinatieri will turn 47 during the season and is inching toward an unceremonious aim. If he actually thinks about how ugly things could get if his play slip-ups, he’d move on now.
Bartolo Colon- Texas Ranger
Sliding over to baseball, there are always some ageless wonders who hang on a bit too long in the dugout. Colon is one of them, as he will be 47 in May and has to be nearing the end.
The man known as “Big Sexy” can be a lot of fun to watch when he’s feeling it, but when he’s not, squads can destroy him. His style of pitching hasn’t translated much over the years, churning out random gems but overall offering a beatable matchup for the opposition.
A classic innings eater that in theory can be an asset to a rotation during the regular season, Colon and his nasty 5.78 Era of a year ago probably need to go.
Vince Carter- Atlanta Hawks
I love Vinsanity as much as anyone. The guy has been around forever, and the beautiful thing about him is that he’s still playing simply because he loves basketball.
But enough is enough. Carter can still deliver highlight-reel dunks, he can still shoot, and he’s a good veteran personality to have around young guys, but he’s taking up a spot someone else could earn.
The novelty of Vince Carter has ricochetted around some bad teams in his latter days, as he’s wasted hour with the Kings and Hawks the past two seasons. The last period he was inspired about retirement, Carter suggested he’s still unsure what he’ll do.
— Bleacher Report NBA (@ BR_NBA) February 5, 2016
That doesn’t truly sound like a guy that’s ready to exit The Association if someone will still give him a task. However, Carter is 42 and averaging only 6.8 phases per game. Yes, he can still play in doses, but should he?
Ichiro Suzuki- Seattle Mariners
One of the most reliable making machines in MLB history, Suzuki made a name for himself for establishing contact and getting on base. Over 3,000 hittings in the MLB later, and Suzuki has surely locked up a place in the MLB Hall of Fame.
To this point, though, Suzuki hasn’t been able to give up playing. Even at age 45, Suzuki has stuck in the game, and while many have speculated his career could be gale down at some phase in 2019, you merely never know if it’ll actually take.
It likely should.
Suzuki is a living legend, but his 2018 batting average was an abysmal. 205. He also hasn’t approached a. 300 batting average since 2013, which is saying something for a guy who currently averages. 311 for his entire career.
It’s been a fun ride, but Suzuki turns 46 in October and isn’t the consistent hitter he once was. The time to walk away is now.
Eli Manning- New York Giants
It’s often quite a bit easier to find which players are just about done when you look to the NFL. One look at the New York Giants the past few years, and it becomes rather obvious that Eli Manning needs to wrap up his career.
NYC will forever be grateful to Peyton’s little brother, as he helped Big Blue secure two Lombardi Trophy and put up stellar numbers over the course of a long career. Regrettably, Manning has been steadily in decline and hasn’t helped the G-Men win a playoff game since 2011.
It’s been a rough seven seasons since New York won their last title. With their next one not set to come anytime soon and a 38 -year-old Manning being more problem than solution, he should step away for good.
Pau Gasol- San Antonio Spurs
Once a prominent fixture of a Los Angeles Lakers championship team, Gasol has aged quickly and declined ever since signing on with the San Antonio Spurs.
Perhaps Gasol could see the end coming and hoped to be part of a rotation en route to more titles. Either style, those championships never came with the Spurs, and now he’s merely wasting away in a bit role, offering up only a shell of his former self.
Gasol has voiced his displeasure with a shrinking role that has allowed him to see the court for merely 12 minutes per game in his age-3 8 campaign. It’s hard not to get that, but turning 39 this summer and clearly in decline, Gasol should espouse San Antonio’s decision and agree his time is up.
Carmelo Anthony- Free Agent
Once an elite isolation scorer to the point where he feels like a lock for the NBA Hall of Fame, the man known as “Melo” is now just a meme in today’s NBA scene.
Anthony proved he can’t fit into a winning system in unsuccessful stops in Houston and Oklahoma City the past two years. He can still score the ball, but his athleticism and defensive ability have eroded to the phase where it’s worth wondering if any NBA team would want to take on the risk of adding him.
You can actually bet on whether or not Carmelo Anthony plays again, but I’d indicate wagering on the “no” side of that prop.
Drew Brees- New Orleans Saints
Some players that should retire aren’t getting closer to their exit inevitably because they’re no longer any good. In my opinion, someone like Drew Brees may want to call it discontinues just to save face.
Brees was once again astonishing in 2018, but he actually fought down the stretching and didn’t play as flawlessly as he would have probably liked in the playoffs.
Now 40, Brees could easily reached a wall or suffer a serious injury anytime in the near future.
The allure of chasing a Super Bowl and going out on top is real, but Brees may be playing with flame here.
Tom Brady- New England Patriots
Lastly, you can’t have a post about which star athletes should retire without looking at the one true GOAT. Much like Brees, though, Brady’s situation isn’t so much about not being able to play anymore, but more about leaving the game of his own accord.
Brady has suggested he’d love to be able to do that, but he’s also repeatedly said he could play until he’s 45 or longer. The reality is Brady knows he’s on top of the world, and after winning his sixth title in 2018, it’s increasingly more difficult to walk away.
There really isn’t a comparable situation to Brady, but there’s no denying his skills have eroded at least a bit and that he benefits from a brilliant system. Set to turn 42 before the 2019 NFL season begins, Brady has to know the risk is very real that he’s on his last leg.
If not this season, perhaps Brady will cease his game of chicken with the football deities and move on in 2020.
I’m sure there are plenty of worthwhile athletes to mention in this post. Everyone ages and retires at some phase, so technically I could go on forever.
However, my aim with this article was to target superstars who are very popular, have had high-level success, and arguably either should flat-out retire or are very close to making that tough decision.
There is a stark discrepancies between stars like Tom Brady and Carmelo Anthony, but the end result is genuinely the same; for whatever reason, every player has a number attached to their athletic life. Whether they’re forced out or see an opportunity to ride off into the sundown, they need to eventually stimulate that call.
Tom Brady and others are understandably a little further from actually retiring than others. Regardless, anytime you stumble upon player retirement prop bets like the one SportsBetting.ag has for Dirk Nowitzki, it induces you think about current players and how much longer they have in their sports.
Nowitzki has gratified the end of the road, and hopefully he sees that. If so, he can return a little value on that -3 00 cost. After that, you are able to turn to the next big prop gamble and try to win some money off of that, too.
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