Vince Carter Didn’t Get the Retirement Send-Off He Deserved

Vince Carter has enjoyed a long NBA career playing for multiple teams. Throughout his career, he has accomplished many things on the court, like shocking Frederic Weis by leaping over him. Today, although his career is over, he’s still considered one of the greatest players in basketball history.

Vince Carter’s career highlights

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One of the most well-known things about Carter is that he played for a lot of NBA teams during his career — eight to be exact. First, the shooting guard/small forward played for the Raptors. Then Toronto traded him to the New Jersey Nets. Then to the Orlando Magic, followed by the Phoenix Suns. Next, Carter went to the Dallas Mavericks, then Memphis Grizzlies.

Carter’s final two trades were to the Sacramento Kings and Atlanta Hawks. For each team, the now-43-year-old achieved remarkable things. However, he’s most known for his ability to dunk. The 2000 Slam Dunk contest is only one of Carter’s major accomplishments, but his fans will always cherish it.

Through his career, Carter had impressive statistics. During his 22-season career, he played in 1,541 games. In 983 total games, he played an average of 30.1 minutes per game. Carter scored an average of six field goals, attempted an average of 13.8 field goals per game, and scored an average 16.7 points per game.

Carter retires before COVID-19

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Carter announced his retirement in 2019 as USA Today details. He joins a shortlist of only five players to play 21 seasons. If COVID-19 hadn’t cut the season short, he would’ve been the only player to ever play 22 seasons.

The NBA veteran’s reasons for retiring were simple. He decided his run had been great and that it was time. Many fans recall that he’s said this before. But this time it’s for real; Carter has retired. Although he played for eight teams, the most memorable for fans is when he played with the Toronto Raptors — his first team — due to his unexpected skill in dunking. For 10 years, he was named an All-Star.

Unceremonious departure

Despite Carter’s retirement, reports CBS Sports, there was no way he could’ve predicted the abrupt end of his career. Due to COVID-19, the NBA season was cut short but is expected to return on July 31. The NBA will send 22 teams to Orlando to play eight regular games. This means eight teams will not participate, including Carter’s team, the Atlanta Hawks.

With the NBA’s decision, Carter’s season and career is officially over. He won’t be getting big ceremonies for his retirement like Dirk Nowitzki and Dwyane Wade did. Some speculate that one reason for this may be the fact Carter played for so many teams.

On the other hand, Carter did state in his retirement announcement that he didn’t want a big sendoff. He did, however, expect to be honored in his last game of the season. Instead, due to the season being cut short, his last game showed a loss to the New York Knicks. He seems to be OK with this.

Carter has expressed gratitude just for being able to play as long as he has. He appeared larger than life on the court, but his exit went almost unnoticed.