Vince Carter '90-Something Percent' Sure He'll Retire After Next Season

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistAugust 3, 2018

Sacramento Kings guard Vince Carter during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets Wednesday, April 11, 2018, in Sacramento, Calif. The Kings won 96-83. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

Vince Carter will return for his 21st NBA campaign after signing with the Atlanta Hawks this offseason, but Vinsanity's time in the league may soon be nearing an end.

The 41-year-old revealed, via ESPN's Ian Begley, during a conference call on Thursday that he's "90-something percent" sure the 2018-19 season will be his last: "It's a love. It's tough to walk away. Obviously when it's time, it's time. But I'm still passionate about it."

After playing the first six-plus years of his career for the Toronto Raptors, the veteran guard has spent the rest of his career moving around the league. He spent four-and-a-half years with the then-New Jersey Nets before spending time with the Orlando Magic, the Phoenix Suns, the Dallas Mavericks, the Memphis Grizzlies, the Sacramento Kings and, now, the Hawks.

And while many players in this era have gone ring-chasing, Carter has abstained, noting that all he wants to do at this point is play.

"I come from an era where that's not how it was. So that's still instilled in me. And I don't have any problem with how it's done now. (It's) just not for me.

"I still want to play the game. Whatever minutes are there, I want (them)."

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The eight-time All-Star revealed on ESPN's The Jump (h/t NBC Bay Area's Drew Shiller) last offseason that he was "open" to joining the Golden State Warriors:

"I'm open for it. I want to win. I want to play and I want to do somewhat what Kevin Durant did. I want to do for my team. I want to go out there and play and provide and show that I can still play this game."

Had he joined the reigning champs, he likely would have gotten that elusive ring. Instead, though, he wound up signing with Sacramento.

Even after eclipsing the 40-year plateau, Carter showed he can still play in the league. He averaged 5.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 17.7 minutes per game last year.

Carter would consider signing with a contender next offseason for the right opportunity, but he acknowledged that this is pretty much the end of the road.

"I think before that happens I'll probably retire anyway," he said.

Last year, Carter said that a return to Toronto will "happen one day. It's supposed to happen." After signing with the Hawks, though, a Raptors reunion could be in jeopardy.