So while Carter is blessed to turn 45 in 2022, it’s hard for the former Slam Dunk machine to fully celebrate his birthday knowing that Bryant was taken from the world too soon on the same day he was born.
Vince Carter on his birthday: It’s tough to celebrate since Kobe Bryant died on same day
Carter and Bryant were close friends before the latter died in 2020. The former will never forget the memories he and the Black Mamba created. It’s why Carter has difficulty thoroughly enjoying his birthday since his pal is gone.
“I’m thankful to see another year of life but it’s really tough to celebrate when the world lost a great human being on this same day,” Carter wrote on Twitter. “Rest well Kobe the world is truly missing a great one. So on this day I celebrate you & I say thank you for the battles & the friendship. #8/24.”
Carter and Bryant are two of the most athletic players in NBA history. Both legends had several poster dunks and put up spectacular numbers during their careers. However, only one was able to win championships.
The main differences between Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter
Carter was a superstar with the Toronto Raptors and New Jersey Nets. From 1998-99 to 2008-09, the UNC product averaged 23.5 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 4.3 assists. Carter made eight All-Star teams and two All-NBA teams. He also won the 1998-99 Rookie of the Year Award.
Half-Man/Half-Amazing became a role player on the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, and Atlanta Hawks after his Nets days ended. He averaged 9.8 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 1.8 assists over the final 764 games of his career. Carter never played in the NBA Finals, which is a bummer since watching him on the NBA’s biggest stage would have been fun.
The grand stage is where Bryant shined for the Los Angeles Lakers. The Hall of Famer played in seven NBA Finals and captured five championships. Bryant won the 2009 and 2010 Finals MVP Award. He also won two scoring titles and the 2007-08 regular-season MVP.
Bryant is fourth on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. He scored 33,643 points with the Lakers and is widely recognized as the second-best shooting guard in NBA history behind Michael Jordan. Bryant scored a whopping 81 points on January 22, 2006, against Carter’s old team, the Raptors. It’s the second-highest scoring game ever.
Bryant not only had a better career than Carter, but he also won more than he lost against Vinsanity. The Lakers icon faced Carter 31 times during his career and had a winning percentage of .645.
Bean went 20-11 against Air Canada
Bryant had a 20-11 record versus Carter. He averaged 23.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, and 5.6 assists. Meanwhile, Carter put up 16.0 points, 3.4 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game against Bryant.
Both Bryant and Carter won one Slam Dunk contest. The former won in 1997, while the latter won in 2000. During their primes, they were physical specimens and put on jaw-dropping shows for basketball fans.
It still doesn’t seem real that Bryant is no longer with us. While his legacy and spirit will live on forever, Carter can’t help but tone down his birthday celebration since Bean is gone.