Vince Carter Retires After 22 Years
Back in 1998, Vince Carter was a part of a draft that also brought in Dirk Nowitzki, Paul Pierce, and Antawn Jamison. Nowitzki retired at the end of last year, while both Jamison and Pierce retired at the end of the 2014 season. Now it is Vince Carter’s turn as he announced on Thursday that he will be calling it a career after 22 years in the league.
Carter was taken with the 5th overall pick by the Golden State Warriors and then he was quickly traded to the Toronto Raptors. He won Rookie of the Year in the 1998-99 season, averaging 18.3 ppg and 5.7 rebounds per game in the process. A star was immediately born and now his amazing career has come to an end. Carter played for eight different teams in his career, including Toronto (7 Seasons), the Nets (5), Dallas (3), Memphis (3), Atlanta (2), Orlando (2), Sacramento (1), Phoenix (1).
He is an eight-time All-star and was voted to the All-NBA team twice. In seven seasons with the Raptors, Vince averaged 23.4 pg and he hung up 23.6 ppg in five seasons with the Nets, but in his final 10 seasons, he averaged just 9.8 ppg. His best days were obviously done after leaving the Nets at the end of the 2008/09 season. The last team he played for was Atlanta and he averaged just 7.4 and 5.0 ppg in two seasons. It is clearly time for him to hang up his gear.
Carter is a bit saddened by the fact that he would not have one final game in Toronto, which was to be played in April.
"I could never picture it, imagine it, as much as I tried, I could never put the story together and it got to the point where I was going to let it happen however it happens," Carter said of his final game and his final Toronto game. "I knew both games would be super, super emotional for a lot of people. So that's why as I thought about it I knew it would be emotional, I would be thankful, every corner of the arena, every spot on the floor, every spot on the bench, walking down the hallway, I'd just reminisce the entire game and I would have been fighting taking the trip down memory lane for 48 minutes and still try to play the game the way I've wanted to play all year. I was kind of looking forward to it but dreading it at the same time because, yes, it would have been a celebration, the good old times, the good old boys are getting back together to reminisce, but my approach was yes, it's fun but I still want to play the game the right way."
“It's an unbelievable feeling,” Carter said of his healed relationship with the city he started in. “It's really impossible to explain. But it's refreshing, satisfying, and makes the walk out of the door satisfying and peaceful, when that door closes. Just because, Like I say, I played the game because I love it. And I want everyone to understand it, see it and appreciate it. And I prided myself on it since I walked into this game. Be a good guy, enjoy the game, and just play the game that I love, my way. And that's all I ever wanted to do. And I think people are understanding that now at this age, more than ever, that I just love playing basketball. And I want to play basketball. And as a young guy I didn't think about, the impact I would have on people.”
It has been an amazing career for Carter, who finished 3rd in most games played in NBA History and 19th in total points scored. LONG LIVE VINSANITY!!!