Vince Carter announced his retirement from the NBA on Thursday.
The Atlanta Hawks released a statement on Carter’s decision.
“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.
“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.”
Carter added on the “Winging It” podcast: “I’m officially done playing basketball professionally.”
A statement from any of the several teams Carter played for during his lengthy basketball career probably won’t do him justice.
Carter entered the league with the Toronto Raptors during the 1998-99 season. He received his first All-Star selection in his second season in the league and made his presence known during the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest when he stunned fans with dazzling throwdowns.
His time with the Raptors didn’t last too long and he was traded to the New Jersey Nets during the 2004-05 season. He would eventually play for the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings and finally with the Hawks.
Carter’s tenure with the Hawks came to an abrupt end when the NBA announced it was stopping the season because of the coronavirus pandemic. His last game came against the New York Knicks and he hit a three-pointer, which eventually would be his final shot of his pro career.
“It’s one of those moments, people, if they think of a game-winning shot, you think sometimes you want to shoot the ball and you want it to be perfect,” he told The Ringer in April. “You want to have the perfect form, the perfect arc, the perfect follow-through, the whole nine. I’ve always been a guy where I believe, I’ve trusted all the work (I’ve put in) and I hadn’t been shooting the ball well in my opinion all year, but when it came down to a shot I needed to make, it was like second nature and I had done it before. So Trae [Young] throws the ball, I take my one-two step and just shoot it like I’d been playing the whole game.
“It’s giving me chills right now, actually. It was kind of a chilling moment to see it go in. Because at first I was like all right, the season’s going to [come] back. But at the same time, I was like, just in case it doesn’t, you might want to try and make this.”