Former Net Vince Carter discusses Kobe Bryant’s retirement advice

It has been quite some time since Vince Carter put on a Nets uniform and threw down dunks for all of the Nets fanbase to cheer on at the time. Carter played 22 seasons in the NBA, reaching the age of 43 years old before calling it quits thanks to one of the greatest players in the history of basketball.

“My last year, I did announce it was my last year. I didn’t announce I was retiring because I struggled with the word (retirement),” Carter said to Bleacher Report‘s Taylor Rooks during an interview. Carter’s last season in the NBA was the 2019-20 season and while he was far from what he was during the first half of his career, he couldn’t stop playing.

“We (Carter played with the Atlanta Hawks at the time) played the Nets in Brooklyn, Kobe (Bryant) and Gigi (Bryant’s daughter) are at that game,” Carter said of the late Bryant and his daughter, who both died in a helicopter crash in January of 2020. “To see the smile on his face, the hug, the conversation we had was unbelievable.”

Carter later said that he asked Bryant about retirement and that Bryant said “man, it is the greatest thing ever. It’s the best feeling. You’re gonna enjoy it.” Carter spent a large part of his career battling with Bryant as the two were driven by the same goal of being the best player they could be while also winning championships at the same time.

However, as competitive as Bryant was known to be, Carter found it easier to retire because of that conversation with Bryant. “If Kobe Bryant can say that to me, I can say I’m retiring,” Carter said. Carter will be inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in October as part of the 2024 class.

Story originally appeared on Nets Wire