Age isn't stopping Vince Carter from taking charges at half-court

Mike DePrisco
NBC Sports Washington

During the first half of the Wizards' 111-101 win over the Hawks, Ish Smith received an outlet pass and began to turn up the floor before 42-year-old Vince Carter stepped up to try and draw a charge. 

Smith avoided the offensive foul with a quick behind-the-back dribble, but that didn't prevent a small collision that left Carter sliding backward on the floor. 

So as an observer of what had just happened, one could sit there and wonder, "What in the world is 42-year-old Vince Carter thinking by trying to draw a charge around half-court?"

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"Just stand there and take it," Carter said. "Trust me, I've been run over by Shaq, so as he long as he doesn't hit me in my knees I'm good."

Carter plans to retire after his 22nd season in the league, an amount of time no player has stuck around for in the history of the NBA. When you watch Carter play, he's clearly not his old self, but it looks like there's plenty left in the tank. Enough for Scott Brooks to wonder why he's calling it a career after 22 years. 

"He's an NBA icon," Brooks said. "It's so hard to play one game, let alone 22 years. And coming back, the mental toughness that he has, the physical ability to stay ready and in shape, it doesn't happen often. It's not easy to make it [in the NBA], and it's even harder to stay.

"I talked to him at halftime, I said, 'Why not go for 23 years?'" Brooks said. "I think he could do it."

Carter, of course, is standing firm on his commitment to retire. 

"[Brooks] better believe it, this is it," Carter said with a laugh. "I know when I walk away, I'm always going to question if it's the wrong decision. It's like everything else, you know when it's time."

Fans just don't want to let go. You could spot plenty of Carter jerseys in the Capital One Arena crowd, every time he entered the game or touched the ball he was cheered and on both of the threes he missed you could hear how bad the entire building wanted to see the shots fall. 

There's even a contingent of the NBA fanbase who would love to see Carter participate in the All-Star festivities. More specifically, the slam dunk contest. 

"No, ma'am," he said when a female reporter asked him if he'd consider it. 

What about judging the dunk contest?

"No, ma'am," he said. "I would judge it if they let me do it via satellite or something." 

Carter is seemingly at peace with his decision and there's little the rest of us can do to sway him. In the meantime, we'll just have to enjoy however many minutes he has left. For you Wizards fans out there, the last time you'll get to see Carter in person is March 6. 

Here's to hoping for the slam dunk contest's first satellite judge.

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Age isn't stopping Vince Carter from taking charges at half-court originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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