Carter, who turns 43 years old later this month, is in his final NBA season and seems all but certain to be a special addition to the All-Star team like Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki were last season. This year also marks the 20-year anniversary of Carter’s iconic performance in the 2000 Dunk Contest, and he has proven that he can still get up.
Carter is 42, so it’s incredible that he is still considered an NBA-caliber player. He was productive for the Hawks last season, averaging 7.4 points and 2.6 rebounds in 17.5 minutes per game. The eight-time All-Star has never won a championship, but he recently said he was not planning to chase a ring next season. He obviously has enjoyed his time in Atlanta and is comfortable ending his remarkable career there.
“We’re still working on it,” he said. “In the pecking order, I know where I fall.”
But when confronted with the idea of chasing a ring, which he has yet to win in 21 NBA seasons, Carter was adamant that he would not do so if it meant that would not be able to take an active part in the rotation.
“Not my thing,” the eight-time All-Star said. “Just not my thing. I prefer to play because I know I can compete at that level. That’s what I enjoy.”
Carter was still productive for the Atlanta Hawks last season, averaging 7.4 points and 2.6 rebounds in 17.5 minutes per game. He recently reconnected with his former team, the Toronto Raptors, when they won their first-ever NBA title last month, but it seems like he is content to finish his own career without one if the situation isn’t right.
Carter, now 42 and still playing, was the first great player in Raptors franchise history and had a transformative impact in his six years there from 1998 to 2004, not only on the team but also on Canadian basketball as a whole. Many Raptors fans still harbor resentment for him however because of the way that he quit on their team and forced his way out via trade.
This will be Carter’s 22nd NBA season, and his last. He had previously said that 2018-19 would likely be his final season, so it’s entirely possible that he changes his mind, but the 42-year-old has definitely earned the right to walk away on his terms if that’s what happens. An eight-time All-Star and future Hall of Famer, he’s still best remembered for his days in Toronto, when he was one of the most dominant athletes in the game.
In an appearance on the “Winging It” podcast that he hosts with Atlanta Hawks teammate Kent Bazemore, Carter announced on Tuesday that he plans to return next year to play in his 22nd NBA season, which would be a record.
Carter spent the 2018-19 season with the Hawks and averaged 7.4 points while playing 17.5 minutes per game. He said he is hoping he will be able to return to Atlanta, but it sounds like he intends to play either way.
Both Carter and Dirk Nowitzki just completed their 21st NBA seasons, which is tied for the most seasons ever with Robert Parish, Kevin Garnett and Kevin Willis. The 42-year-old set a major milestone with a dunk this past season, and he now ranks 20th in NBA history with 25,430 points.
Carter made a name for himself with his incredible aerial displays, so the dunk was the best way for him to get to that mark.
Now 41, Carter has remained a valuable player by reshaping his game and role 20 years after making his NBA debut. He’s been willing to come off the bench and mentor youngsters, which has allowed him to extend his career and reach such milestones.
Carter is 26th all time in career points and may be able to pass a few players in front of him this season, like Jerry West, Rick Barry and Reggie Miller.
It’s always sad watching once-great athletes enter the twilight of their careers. For sports fans, it feels like we’re losing a piece of ourselves. Father Time doesn’t discriminate, and though some athletes push the envelope into their 40s, we all sadly have a shelf life.
In the past two years, fans have seen notable figures like Tim Duncan, Amar’e Stoudemire, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce retire. Here are 10 well-known players who may follow in their footsteps in the next year.
10. Vince Carter
I sat down with V.C. on draft day to discuss his future, and at the time it was uncertain. He was waiting for LeBron to announce his decision so the rest of the league could react and adjust their free-agency plans accordingly. Once LJ finally did so, the Hawks scooped Carter, signing him to a one-year deal. Atlanta wanted “Carter around its young locker room,” per Woj. The 41-year-old will receive $2.4 million for the season — keep getting them checks! Carter is no longer the Vinsanity we all knew and loved, but he’s had a heck of a career, and he’s still a valuable piece. Last season, with Sacramento, he played in 58 games, averaging 17.7 minutes, 5.4 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.2 assists per game while shooting 34.5 percent from beyond the arc. The former No. 5 overall pick (1998, Golden State Warriors) has now played for eight teams.
The Half-Man, Half-Amazing show is nearing its final curtain call.
Speaking with reporters on Thursday during a conference call for the Jr. NBA World Championships, veteran swingman Vince Carter discussed his future.
“I still want to play the game,” said the 41-year-old, per ESPN’s Ian Begley. “Whatever minutes are there, I want [them] … It’s a love. It’s tough to walk away. Obviously when it’s time, it’s time. But I’m still passionate about it.”
The eight-time All-Star Carter also revealed that he is “90-something percent” sure that he will retire after the 2018-19 campaign and is planning to pursue a broadcasting career for his next gig.
Carter, who signed a one-year, $2.4 million deal with the Atlanta Hawks this offseason, can still play — he averaged 11.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per 36 minutes for the Sacramento Kings last season. But he is the oldest active NBA player right now and is entering the 21st season of his illustrious career.