NBA

Did Vince Carter Play in His Final Career Game on Wednesday?

The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the entire country’s everyday life throughout the past couple of weeks. It has also certainly affected the sports world this week. On Wednesday, the NBA announced it was suspending its season indefinitely, and no one knows when the season will resume. Because of this, many are wondering if Wednesday was the last game for future Hall of Famer Vince Carter.

Vince Carter takes the league by storm out of North Carolina

Carter came into the NBA after a great three-year college career at North Carolina as he helped lead the Tar Heels to two Final Fours. Being a top pick in the 1998 NBA draft, Carter started his career with the Toronto Raptors and had instant success.

Scoring 18.3 points per game and pulling down 5.7 rebounds, Carter won the NBA’s 1999 Rookie of the Year Award. He then just continued to get better. Carter averaged 25.7 points per game his second year, and 27.6 his third season. He also displayed his star power when he won the 2000 NBA slam dunk contest.

Carter was then consistently one of the best scorers in the league over the next few seasons. In fact, he never scored fewer than 20 points per game in a season throughout the rest of his time in Toronto. In the 2004-05 season, the Raptors traded him to the New Jersey Nets and he continued to produce at a high level. Carter played in New Jersey through the 2008-09 season and, again, never averaged fewer than 20 points per game in a season.

What Carter did not do in Toronto or New Jersey, though, was have much playoff success. He finally had some success during the 2009-10 season for the Orlando Magic. Carter, alongside Dwight Howard, led the Magic to the Eastern Conference Finals. They ultimately lost to the Boston Celtics in that series, though, and Carter has still never played in the NBA Finals.

Turning into a journeyman

Vince Carter shoots the ball for the Atlanta Hawks.
Vince Carter of the Atlanta Hawks. | Will Newton/Getty Images

Since playing in Orlando, Carter has defied Father Time as he is still playing at 43 years old. He has, however, bounced around to several NBA teams over the years.

After being traded from the Magic in 2010, Carter has played for the Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, and, most recently, the Atlanta Hawks. Carter has still had some success over the years, averaging 13.4 points per game for the Mavericks during the 2012-13 season, and 11.9 during the 2013-14 season. He has not, however, averaged over 10 points per game over the past six seasons, turning into a nice role player. 

During the summer of 2019, Carter announced that he planned to retire at the end of the 2019-20 season and spend his final year with the Hawks. This season specifically for the Hawks, Carter has played 60 games and is averaging five points per game in 14.6 minutes per game.

Has Vince Carter’s Hall of Fame career come to an end?

On Wednesday, the NBA announced it was suspending its season as the COVID-19 pandemic hit close to home. Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus which ultimately postponed the game between the Jazz and Oklahoma City Thunder.

With the league being suspended until further notice, the future of the season is unclear. So, does that mean Carter’s historical career has come to an end? It’s, unfortunately, a possibility.

In the final seconds of a game that had already been decided with the New York Knicks, the Hawks put Carter back into the game. Carter made the best of the opportunity as he sunk a three with 12.6 seconds left in what could be the final shot of his career.

Carter discussed the possibility of Wednesday being his final game in a press conference.  

“I’m not one for the whole thing anyway,” Carter said, according to CBS Sports. “So if you ask a lot of people around me, they’ll tell you this. I’m appreciative, but I just do my time, walk out the door, it’s okay with me, believe it or not. I’m cool. I just… the game’s been good.” 

Vince Carter

He then later took to Twitter. 

It seems as if Carter is trying to accept the fact that he has officially played his final game. If that is the case, Carter will finish his career as an eight-time All-Star, a top-20 all-time scorer, and as one of the most electric players to ever play the game. He always did it with class too. See you in the Hall of Fame, Vince.