The time has come for NBA veteran Vince Carter. After 22 years, he’s calling it a career.
Carter, 43, announced his retirement on his own podcast, “Winging It.”
"I'm officially finished playing basketball," Carter said. "I'm officially done playing basketball professionally."
Carter, who has been with the Atlanta Hawks for the past two seasons, was already done playing for the year as the 20-47 Hawks were eliminated from the NBA’s 22-team Orlando restart.
Over 22 seasons, Carter has spent time with eight teams and is No. 19 on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 1998 with the fifth overall pick, he was traded almost immediately to the Toronto Raptors. That’s where he spent the first six and a half years of his career, and they were a heckuva six and a half years. More than 15 years after he was traded to the Nets, Carter remains in the Raptors’ all-time top 10 in points scored (fourth), assists (sixth), steals (fifth), blocks (fourth), field goals made (third) and 3-pointers made (fifth).
Twenty-two seasons is a very, very long career, in basketball or any professional sport. It’s hard to quantify that, but this trivia nugget does a pretty good job.
Vince Carter has played at least one game against 37% of the players who have EVER appeared in an NBA game.
He squared off against 1,668 of the 4,489 all-time NBA players.
— Micah Adams (@MicahAdams13) June 25, 2020
Carter’s final NBA game was a 136-131 overtime loss to the New York Knicks on March 11, but the last shot of his NBA career was a success. With 13.4 seconds left in overtime, Carter sunk a 3-pointer. On “Winging It,” he said that final triumph made his decision to retire a little easier.
"Making my last shot helped the situation. I think if I didn't make my last shot, it'd have been a little different. It'd have felt a little different. I'd have been itching to, at least get back and just play one minute and just make one shot — I don't care what it would be: free throw, layup, I don't care," Carter said. "As a player playing your last game — whether you know it or not — you always want to say, 'Well, at least I made the last shot of my career.' And I can actually say that, so I'm happy."
The Hawks paid tribute to Carter with a video highlighting some of his greatest moments, so everyone can remember “Vinsanity” at his very best.
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 25, 2020
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