After a record breaking 22 seasons, Vince Carter has finally decided to retire.
Carter played for eight teams and compiled some absolutely absurd statistics, including 25,728 points, 6,606 rebounds, 4,714 assists, and 1,530 steals. He’s currently 19th all time in points and 6th all time in three pointers made. Carter made eight All Star games and was voted All NBA two times. The man played in four different decades. His Basketball Reference page is a wall of numbers. He was Rookie of the Year and participated in one of the greatest dunk contests of all time.
This is a guy who, like Dirk, has been part of my life for well more than half of it. I still remember my friend Chad Davis, he’d leave art class every day for months when the bell rang and he’d shout “IT’S OVER!” and do Vince’s hand motions. He’s a part of the fiber of basketball to me and I’m delighted he’s going to transition into a full time media role.
Carter joined the Maverick in part of his twilight years, joining Dallas at age 35. His first season, in 2011-12, was a mixed bag. In fact, Carter was the subject of my first garbage article at Mavs Moneyball almost eight years ago. During his time in Dallas, Carter found a second life as an off-the-bench role player. I specifically remember his connection off the bench with Brandan Wright. He learned how to be a different player in Dallas and it extended his career well past what anyone might have guessed.
And that shot. You know which one. This one.
Watch it. Watch it again. And again. It’s that good. I started sobbing after Vince hit that shot. I was processing (really not processing) the loss of my dog and that shot injected joy right into my heart in a way I hadn’t felt in weeks. I’ll always love Vince for that.
Good luck in what’s to come, Vince Carter.