Vince Carter Confirms NBA Retirement After 22-Year Career: 'I'm Officially Done'

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 25, 2020

Atlanta Hawks guard Vince Carter (15) wavs to the crowd as he leaves the court following an NBA basketball game against the New York Knicks Wednesday, March 11, 2020, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
John Bazemore/Associated Press

Vince Carter confirmed Thursday that he is officially retired from basketball following a successful 22-year NBA career.

Carter removed all doubt regarding his status during an appearance on The Ringer's Winging It podcast:

"I'm officially done playing basketball professionally," he said.

The 43-year-old spent his 22nd and final NBA season with the Atlanta Hawks in 2019-20. Since the Hawks are out of playoff contention, they were not invited to finish the season in Orlando, Florida. Thus, the Hawks' season and Carter's career are over.

While Carter didn't know it for certain at the time, he made a three-pointer on the final shot of his career in a 136-131 overtime loss to the New York Knicks on March 11. Play was suspended because of the coronavirus pandemic after that game.

Carter played sparingly in 2019-20 and averaged a career-low 5.0 points and 14.6 minutes per game, but he served as a mentor and positive veteran influence to the younger players on the roster.

The eight-time All-Star bounced around often during the second half of his career with stops as a member of the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings and Hawks. He will best be remembered for his seven seasons with the Toronto Raptors and five seasons with the New Jersey Nets, however.

Carter won the NBA Rookie of the Year Award in 1999 after he was selected fifth overall in the 1998 NBA draft out of North Carolina. He was named an All-Star in six of his seven seasons in Toronto and averaged 23.4 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game.

He remained productive following a trade to the Nets, averaging 23.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists. He never played in the NBA Finals, but he helped lead the Raptors and Nets to the playoffs three times each during his tenure.

Carter ranks third on the NBA's all-time list with 1,541 regular-season games played, and he is 19th on the NBA's all-time scoring list with 25,728 points, making him a strong Hall of Fame candidate.

Overall, he averaged 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game during his career.

His longest-lasting impact on the game may be the "Vinsanity" craze that came about early in his career thanks to his highlight-reel dunks and exciting style of play.

Carter won the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest in spectacular fashion and executed what many consider to be the greatest dunk in basketball history over French center Frederic Weis during the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. He was part of Team USA's gold-medal squad.

While Carter played a lesser role during the second half of his career and hung around for the love of the game, there were few better scorers and athletes in the NBA during his prime.

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