Vince Carter is done. After 22 years in the NBA, Carter has officially announced his retirement. He made the announcement on the Winging It podcast and said, "I'm officially finished playing basketball."
Carter, 43, also said he's open to playing in celebrity basketball games and other events, but he won't be playing for an NBA team anymore. He was recently played for the Atlanta Hawks but is known for his time with the Toronto Raptors. In his career, Carter was named to the All-Star team eight times and won the Rookie of the Year award in 1999. The NBA will resume its 2019-2020 season next month. However, the Hawks will not be playing as they fail to qualify to play in the 22-team season due to them having a 20-47 record. Because of that, Carter's season and career have come to an end.
"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, as transcribed by ESPN. "It's like, OK, its 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."
Carter, who played college basketball at North Carolina, was drafted No. 5 overall by the Golden State Warriors in 1998 but was then traded to the Raptors. Along with winning Rookie of the Year in 1999, Carter won the Slam Dunk Contest in 2000. Carter also took part in the 2000 Olympic Games and helped the USA team win the gold medal. After his time with the Raptors came to an end, he went to play for the New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings before joining the Hawks in 2018.
"Over the last two years, Vince Carter has been a committed leader, respected mentor and influential example on the court, in the locker room and in the Atlanta community," the Hawks said in a statement. "Throughout his historic 22-year journey covering an unprecedented four different decades, his evolving career arc was perhaps like none other in league history – from Top 5 Draft Pick to Rookie of the Year to Slam Dunk Champion to superstar and eight-time All-Star to Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year and valuable role player. It's an honor to the Hawks organization that he completed his Hall-of-Fame career wearing Atlanta across his chest and representing our city."