Wednesday on ESPN’s The Jump, Vince Carter confirmed that the 2019-2020 season will be his last.
Before the season had ended, Carter told ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption that he planned on playing at least one more year. Now, it looks like this next one will be his farewell tour.
If anybody in the NBA deserves it; it’s Carter. At 42-years old, he will be entering his 22nd NBA season. He’s a first-ballot Hall-of-Famer that currently ranks 20th all-time in scoring with over 25,000 points, and sixth all-time in made three-pointers. But his unbelievable hops might be what he is best remembered for.
The legendary 2000 dunk contest will go down in history as one of the best individual performances in the sport. That same year, Carter blessed us with possibly the greatest in-game dunk ever – a masterpiece over 7’2″ Frederic Weis.
OTD: Vince Carter dunks over 7-foot-2 French center Frederic Weis in the 2000 Olympics.
Is it the greatest dunk ever? pic.twitter.com/QlsqmdjUAC
— The Crossover (@TheCrossover) September 25, 2018
But what I have appreciated so much about Carter as his career winds down is his competitiveness. He didn’t hop onto a loaded team where he would only play in garbage time to win the championship ring that alluded him. Carter, himself, will tell you that’s not his style. His prolonged career is due to a player that simply loves to ball. He wants to play; he wants to contribute. And to this day – even at 42 years old – Carter remains a valuable NBA commodity.
Not only could every team benefit from Carter’s veteran presence, but he was a productive player for the Hawks last year, shooting well over 40% from the field and nearly 40% from three-point range. By no means was he a liability at any point. That’s a testament to his incredible ability to keep his body in shape and willingness to practice as hard as he did in his prime.
Carter told me back in February that, like every team he plays for, the Hawks will have the first opportunity to offer him a contract. He said it didn’t matter where he ended up playing; he just wants another chance to play one more year of this beautiful game at the highest level.