Vince Carter has put forth a legendary career that has seen him spend two more than two decades in the NBA. He has put forth a resume that will one day land him in the Hall of Fame a few years down the line. The former Toronto Raptors great has elected to finally step away from the game as a member of the Atlanta Hawks, which provides a chance to look back at his career that has many iconic moment s along the way. Before he got things going in the league, he made one significant promise to his mom that he kept.
Vince Carter retires after 22 seasons
Throughout the 2019-20 season, it was known that Vince Carter would more than likely retire as he made that proclamation last offseason.
The widespread of the coronavirus also impacted the end to his final season as his last game turned out to be on March 11 at home against the New York Knicks. Although his production dipped over the last decade, he continued to show longevity that allowed him to play into his 40s. He finished his career ranked 19th all-time in scoring while earning eight All-Star selection, an All-NBA Second Team nod, an All-NBA Third Team selection, and a Rookie of the Year award.
Despite the strange ending to his final campaign, Carter voiced on Thursday on his podcast that he is at peace with his decision to walk away finally. (H/T ESPN)
“If there was any disappointment because of the season — any of that — it was kind of easier to put it aside and handle it that way,” Carter said. “It’s like, OK, it’s something bigger than my career. … It’s unfortunate, but with the coronavirus taking people’s lives rapidly, that’s the big picture in my mind.
“So I was able to put the weird ending — the abrupt stoppage of play, to an ending — aside for the bigger picture.”
It wraps up an impressive career that all began with one promise to his mom.
Vince Carter’s first contract was with his mom
Vince Carter entered the league as the fifth pick in the 1998 draft as one of the most touted prospects.
After his junior year, Carter had decided to leave North Carolina, but that came with a promise to his mother behind a signed contract to finish college. The star guard followed through as he graduated with a degree in African-American studies before Game 7 of the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers.
In his interview, Carter specifically talks about the 2001 NBA Finals against the Philadelphia 76ers and during that time he decided to walk with his graduating class at UNC. The decision was highly criticized but Carter made a promise to his mother to receive his degree after leaving his Junior year at Carolina. The promise was important for him to keep.
Although Carter was criticized it given the timing of the graduation, it was something that he had to fulfill for his mother. Despite being a highly successful NBA player, getting a college degree is just as important to him..
Vince Carter’s NBA legacy
Beyond that impressive personal achievement with garnering his college degree, Vince Carter looks to be in line to receive another remarkable honor for his work on the court.
There has been debate about whether he has put forth a Hall of Fame career, but it’s hard to argue against that. Some players accomplished far less who earned that honor as Carter was a game-changing talent during his prime. He helped put the Toronto Raptors on the map while becoming one of the most iconic dunkers.
What has been equally as impressive is his longevity. He stretched his career out to play 22 seasons and still proved to be a factor in his final campaign. He’s the only player to ever play in four different decades and has significantly impacted the generations that have followed him. Carter may not have the stacked resume that many others have, but he has done more than enough to earn a Hall of Fame induction.