Vince Carter

Vince Carter Officially Announces Retirement

Veteran NBA forward Vince Carter has officially announced his retirement from basketball, confirming and discussing the decision on the latest episode of his Winging It podcast with Annie Finberg.

“I’m officially done playing basketball professionally,” Carter said.

Carter’s career came to a slightly earlier-than-expected end when the NBA was forced to suspend its season on March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Hawks still had 15 games left at that point, but they won’t be part of the resumption of the season in Orlando this summer.

Atlanta’s last game of 2019/20 against the Knicks was still in progress when the NBA announced the suspension of the season. Recognizing that it might be the Hawks’ – and Carter’s – last game, head coach Lloyd Pierce had the 43-year-old check in with just 19 seconds left in overtime — he knocked down a three-pointer on the last shot of his career before time expired.

The fifth overall pick in the 1998 draft, Carter spent his first six-and-half NBA seasons in Toronto, emerging as a star and helping lead the Raptors to the first three playoff appearances in franchise history, including their first postseason series win in 2001. He earned the nickname “Air Canada” during those years and played a large role in growing basketball’s popularity in the country, contributing in part to the influx of Canadian players we’ve seen enter the NBA in recent years.

Carter played his next four-and-a-half seasons in New Jersey with the Nets, then began bouncing around the league with a little more frequency, spending time with the Magic, Suns, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Kings, and Hawks before retiring this year following his record-setting 22nd NBA season.

For his career, the former UNC standout averaged 16.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 3.1 APG in 1,541 regular season games (30.1 MPG). He also appeared in another 88 postseason contests, averaging 18.1 PPG.

A two-time All-NBA selection and an eight-time All-Star, the veteran swingman also won the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award in 1999 and the Slam Dunk Contests in 2000. He earned a gold medal with Team USA at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, memorably dunking over French center Frederic Weis during those games.

Carter never won a championship, but didn’t prioritize chasing a ring during his final few NBA seasons, opting instead to join young teams like the Kings and Hawks, where he could play regular minutes and impart veteran wisdom upon those clubs’ up-and-coming prospects.

The Hawks issued a statement today congratulating Carter on his retirement and thanking him for the time he spent with the organization, calling it an “honor” to the franchise that “he completed his Hall-of-Fame career wearing Atlanta across his chest and representing our city.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Hawks Notes: Carter, Huerter, Practice Facility

With his retirement right around the corner, Hawks forward Vince Carter hopes to stay connected to the NBA even once he’s no involved in the action on the court, as he told T.I. this week on the rapper’s expediTIously Podcast (video link).

Asked about what’s next for him once he officially hangs up his sneakers, Carter pointed to broadcasting and team ownership as two areas he’s interested in, though he admitted he doesn’t have the kind of net worth to become the majority owner of an NBA franchise like Michael Jordan.

“I want to do some broadcasting. I want to stay around the game,” Carter said, per Paul Kasabian of Bleacher Report. “I want to continue to be a mentor in some capacity. I have aspirations of being a part of an ownership group. I don’t make that kind of money to own a team outright like MJ … but at some point, I want to be a part of an ownership group where I can still be that mentor that (players) need, and I want to be the middle man to bridge the gap for the ownership/executive side.”

Here’s more on the Hawks:

  • Second-year Hawks guard Kevin Huerter, who was sidelined for 10 games in the fall with a shoulder injury, tells Chris Kirschner of The Athletic that he played through some “nagging” issues the rest of the year and was proud not to miss any more time. “One thing that bothered me, I would go on Twitter, and you get tagged in every little thing. Everyone’s always like, ‘Kevin is always hurt,'” Huerter said. “From December until when our season stopped, I didn’t miss a single game. I was still getting tagged with always being hurt. I just played 40 or 50 games in a row. What do you mean I’m always hurt? That was a big thing for me. I played through a lot to just be on the court.”
  • Huerter, who told Kirschner that he’s “so sick of losing,” believes the Hawks’ young core players complement one another and is excited to see what they’re capable of as they continue to grow and commit to improving on defense.Trae (Young) is a dynamic scorer,” Huerter said. “I think I’m a facilitator, shot-maker and spacer. Cam (Reddish) can do it all on both ends. De’Andre Hunter is a bigger small forward who can move up position-wise on defense. John (Collins) can shoot and rebound and do everything. I think all of our pieces fit.”
  • The Hawks have yet to announce a specific target date for when they’ll attempt to reopen their practice facility, and it won’t happen on Friday. However, GM Travis Schlenk said the club is looking at the possibility of moving forward with reopening as early as next week, as Sarah K. Spencer of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution writes.

Hawks’ Vince Carter Talks Retirement

When the NBA suspended its season on March 11, Hawks wing Vince Carter recognized immediately that he may have made his last appearance as an NBA player that night, discussing the possibility after the game.

Six weeks later, we don’t have much further clarity on whether or not Carter will get a chance to suit up again for the Hawks this summer before he calls it a career. However, speaking to Chris Mannix of SI.com, Carter said he wouldn’t be upset if that March 11 contest ends up being his farewell from the NBA. He checked into that game vs. New York with 19 seconds left in overtime – after the news of Rudy Gobert‘s positive coronavirus test and the suspension of the season had broken – and knocked down the game’s final shot, a three-pointer.

“I ended on a pretty cool note,” Carter said.

The Hawks’ original schedule called for a home finale in Atlanta on April 15, the last day of the regular season. On April 10, the team had been scheduled to play in Toronto, where Carter started his NBA career in 1998 and blossomed into a star. While the 43-year-old admits it “would have been nice” to face the Raptors in Toronto one last time, he insists he’s “good with it” if that game doesn’t end up happening, Mannix writes.

Carter also explained why he has been happy to spend the final few seasons of a decorated 22-year NBA career playing for lottery teams in Sacramento and Atlanta.

“I had some (contenders) that were offering the opportunities,” Carter said, per Mannix. “They were saying, ‘We can’t guarantee (minutes).’ And I don’t expect anyone to guarantee me minutes. But to say, ‘We don’t think there’s any minutes, but you would help our team as far as just wisdom.’ That’s something I didn’t want to do. I just wanted to play. I could lend my wisdom and be an unbelievable mentor for a guy. But sometimes showing is better than telling.”

As for whether Carter has had any second thoughts about retiring at season’s end, Mannix writes that some doubt crept in for the eight-time All-Star during the first couple months of the season, but his concerns were assuaged by longtime NBA stars Dirk Nowitzki and the late Kobe Bryant, who told him he’d enjoy retirement.

“It was reassuring,” Carter told Mannix. “Comforting. Those are the guys that I wanted to talk to and hear from.”

Texas Notes: Carter, Dirk, H-O-R-S-E, Morey

While Vince Carter will be remembered for many accomplishments, his tenure in Dallas may be his most impressive stint, as I detailed on the Basketball Behind The Scenes podcast. Carter joined the Mavericks prior to the lockout-shortened 2011/12 season as the franchise was looking for another player capable of scoring on his own to pair with Dirk Nowitzki.

The former UNC Tar Heel altered his game during his three years in Dallas, shifting away from the ball-dominant ways of the 2000s scorer. Carter made the three-ball a larger part of his shot portfolio and embraced a willingness to be a contributor off the bench, something that was not as glorified then as it is today. Without the shift in his game, Carter may not have had the opportunity to play a record 22 seasons in the league.

Here are more basketball notes from the state of Texas:

  • Nowitzki said that he would have probably turned down the opportunity to compete in ESPN’s H-O-R-S-E competition if he had been asked, as Callie Caplan of The Dallas Morning News tweets. The Mavericks‘ legend said he only touched a basketball a few times since retiring and once was for a commercial.
  • Acknowledging that an early playoff exit might raise some eyebrows, Kelly Iko of The Athletic writes in a mailbag that Rockets GM Daryl Morey‘s aggressive roster moves in the last year suggest he still has ownership’s trust. Morey has gone in some unconventional directions – such as going completely centerless – that an executive without as much standing in an organization may not have attempted.
  • The Rockets have a few contracts that could be difficult to move in the coming years, including Eric Gordon‘s deal, as John Hollinger tells Iko in a separate piece for The Athletic. The shooting guard inked a four-year, $73MM extension prior to the 2019/20 season.

Southeast Notes: Isaac, Augustin, Hornets, Carter

In an interview with Josh Robbins of The Athletic, Magic forward Jonathan Isaac expressed hope that he can return if the season doesn’t resume for a while. Isaac is working his way back from a severe knee sprain he suffered in early January.

“If I’m ready to play when this thing adjourns, I want to play,” he said. “I can’t really speak for the front office. I can’t speak for everybody as a whole. At the end of the day, it really comes down to them because they want to make sure that everything is good, that I’m preserved and everything. And that’s great. But if I’m in a place where my knee is great, my mental (outlook) is great, my spirit is great and I’m in a place where I can play a game and I have a couple of weeks of conditioning, a couple of weeks of basketball where I’m like, ‘I’m set and I’m ready to play,’ then I’ll go ahead and play.”

This is the second injury-shortened season in three years for Isaac, who was averaging 12.0 PPG in 32 games before getting hurt. He added that his ability to train is limited right now because the team facility is shut down.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Magic guard D.J. Augustin hasn’t lost hope that the season will resume, writes Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “The only hard part if we do come back this season is guys having a rhythm and skills being on point,” Augustin said. “But in terms of being in shape, I will be in shape when we come back. I’m hoping we come back. We’re missing the game, and the fans are missing the game. I feel like we had a lot to prove this season. We were in a good spot. … I’m hearing things may pick up in July and go into September.”
  • To help his young team understand postseason intensity, Hornets coach James Borrego is having players watch old playoff games during the break, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN. He picked a seven-game series from 2012 between the Lakers and Nuggets. “Part of this is to show them what physical playoff basketball looks like,” Borrego said. “This is where we want to get to someday. Let’s study it.”
  • In the latest episode of his Winging It podcast with the Ringer, Hawks veteran Vince Carter talks about the possibility that he may have already played his final NBA game.

Vince Carter Discusses Upcoming Retirement

43-year-old Hawks wing Vince Carter chatted about his upcoming retirement after a record-setting 22 NBA seasons, per Chris Kirschner of The Athletic. Kirschner detailed the scene following Carter’s game on Wednesday night, in which Atlanta fell 136-131 to the Knicks in overtime.

The Hawks discovered that the season was going to be at least postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic during the fourth quarter, as big man John Collins attempted free throws. Carter checked in with just 20 seconds left in overtime and knocked down a three-pointer.

“This was fun. If it ended today, this day and the end of the season with these last 16 games will be talked about for a very long time,” Carter said. “That’s something I’ll always remember. At least I scored my last basket. It’s a weird but cool memory.”

While Carter figures to play down the stretch for the Hawks if and when the season resumes, there’s a chance that Wednesday’s game will be the last time he plays in front of fans. If the coronavirus situation worsens and the NBA is forced to cancel its season, it will be the last time Carter plays at all, which prompted his postgame comments.

“I work so hard to be in shape and play this game to compete against young guys half my age, so I wanted to go out and play the game,” Carter said. “When you say, ‘How old is he again? Oh, he looks like he can still play.’ That’s the feeling — that’s like a championship because each and every night you play against another young guy and they say, ‘Man, I don’t see how you’re doing it. You look like you could play a couple of years.’ That’s like winning a championship in my mind.

“Some people probably don’t see it that way. I think sitting on the end of the bench and not being able to be a part of it — that would get me more than anything. It’s been a great ride.”

For the season, the eight-time All-Star is averaging 5.0 PPG and 2.1 RPG. Carter’s career slash line is a more impressive 16.7 PPG/4.3 RPG/3.1 APG. The 6’6″ University of North Carolina alum has scored 25,728 career points, the 22nd-most in league history.

Last night, in light of the league’s indefinite suspension of game play for the 2019/20 season, Carter posted a tweet expressing gratitude to fans for his final season. “If this is really it, I thank everyone for your love and support for all these years,” Carter said in part.

Southeast Notes: Clifford, Carter, Crowder, Robinson

Magic coach Steve Clifford was at practice with his team yesterday after a health scare Friday night in Minnesota, writes Jenny Dial Creech of The Athletic. Clifford had to leave the game against the Timberwolves in the third quarter after feeling dizzy. He was taken to a local hospital and diagnosed with dehydration.

“I’ve been sick for a few days and I realize now that I didn’t eat at all (Friday),” Clifford explained. “I started to get busy with the game and then when it was going on, I was OK. Then it just got really bad and I knew I needed to leave. Once I got on an IV at the hospital, I started to feel better.”

Health is a constant concern for the 58-year-old, who underwent heart surgery in 2013 and took a leave from coaching in 2017, citing severe exhaustion. He said he got plenty of messages from players and coaches Friday night, including a “stern lecture” from Stan Van Gundy.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • Vince Carter is receiving farewells around the league during his final NBA season, but the Hawks‘ veteran said last night’s tribute in Memphis was special, relays Evan Barnes of The Memphis Commercial Appeal. Carter spent three seasons with the Grizzlies and reached the playoffs each year. “It was a great time in my career. This city is different than a lot of places that I’ve been” he said. “They really embrace the players and what they tried to do with the Grit and Grind mentality is a staple not just on the floor but in the city.”
  • Heat forward Jae Crowder has been placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol after colliding with Zion Williamson during Friday’s game with the Pelicans, tweets Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. Crowder has been a valuable addition to Miami since being acquired at the trade deadline, averaging 12.3 points and 5.5 rebounds in 12 games.
  • Wizards coach Scott Brooks wants newly acquired guard Jerome Robinson to be more aggressive in getting shots up, writes Fred Katz of The Athletic. Robinson has started the past two games and Brooks believes he will make better decisions as he gets more minutes. “(The Clippers) are a playoff team last year and a championship (contending) team this year,” Brooks said. “So he wasn’t getting a lot of playing time. … They’re a veteran team, so they probably weren’t practicing a lot. So he’s just getting some rhythm now. I don’t know where it’s gonna end up. I’m looking forward to keeping working with him and seeing where he gets to the rest of the season.”

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Winslow, Carter, Herro

At the midpoint of the Hornets‘ 2019/20 NBA season, the team has shown growth under second-year head coach James Borrego, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer notes.

Bonnell goes on to report that the Hornets are the only team with a losing record that is still among the top-10 in the league in net rating in clutch time, thanks mostly to the clutch play of promising youngsters Devonte’ Graham, PJ Washington and even the 25-year-old Terry Rozier. Bonnell cautions optimistic fans that just two of the team’s 15 victories came against teams with winning records, and notes that the 15-26 team is still firmly in rebuild mode.

Rozier, an expensive free-agent gamble inked this summer to a three-year, $57MM contract to be the team’s starting point guard, has become effective as the team’s starting shooting guard after the ascendant Graham emerged as the best option to run the point for the Hornets.

Bonnell wonders if the 6’1″ Rozier can be a long-term fit as the team’s shooting guard, and whether forwards PJ Washington and Miles Bridges, similarly built at 6’7″, can truly coexist starting alongside each other in the frontcourt long term. Bonnell feels that shooting guard and center should be the Hornets’ next big positional targets in the 2020 NBA draft.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • Heat guard Justise Winslow, in the first season of a three-year, $39MM contract extension, has been saddled with several maladies this season. He has appeared in just 11 of a possible 38 games for Miami. Ira Winderman of the Florida Sun-Sentinel opines that Winslow has an incentive to return to the court quickly and be effective for the Heat, as the third season of his extension during 2021/22 is a team option.
  • Evergreen Hawks veteran swingman Vince Carter, the 42-year-old surefire Hall of Famer who will retire this spring after spending parts of four decades in the NBA, isn’t letting his age detract from his effort on defense. Mike DePrisco of NBC Sports Washington observes that Carter tried to draw a charge call at half-court against a charging Ish Smith, 31. “Trust me, I’ve been run over by Shaq,” Carter said. “So as he long as he doesn’t hit me in my knees I’m good.”
  • Heat rookie wing Tyler Herro is confident of his standing among his fellow NBA freshmen, according to the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson. “I just know what me and [fellow Heat rookie] Kendrick Nunn got going on,” Herro said. “I think I’m one of the best rookies in this class for sure. Obviously there’s a lot of great rookies with Ja Morant and RJ [Barrett]… But I feel we have two of the best rookies.”

Southeast Notes: Hornets, Vinsanity, Magic, Wizards

Hornets player development coach Nick Friedman has been tasked with improving the on-court performances of young players like Caleb Martin and Jalen McDaniels, who spend time with both the Hornets and their G League affiliate, the Greensboro Swarm, The Charlotte Observer’s Rick Bonnell reports. Friedman operates as a liaison for Hornets head coach James Borrego.

Player development via the G League worked wonders in the 2018/19 season for Devonte’ Graham (who spent 13 games in Greensboro) and Dwayne Bacon (17 games). Graham is enjoying a breakout sophomore season in Charlotte, averaging 19.0 PPG and 7.9 APG for the 15-23 Hornets, who are just two games out of the No. 8 seed in the East.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • 42-year-old Hawks wing Vince Carter became the first NBA player to suit up for teams in four different decades when he stepped onto the hardwood for Atlanta’s 116-111 defeat of the Pacers, Tory Barron of ESPN writes. The eight-time All-Star, who is playing in his record-setting 22nd season, notched a +7 plus-minus rating in 18 minutes. Barron notes that 36 NBA players who have logged one minute or more in a game this season were born after Carter’s league debut on February 5th, 1999.
  • Following injuries to versatile forwards Jonathan Isaac and Al-Farouq Aminu, the Magic are considering filling their vacant 15th roster spot, according to The Athletic’s Josh Robbins (Twitter link).
  • Although several injuries have required 11-24 Wizards to adjust their bench, it has remained among the league’s best, as Candace Buckner of The Washington Post reports. The Wizards’ bench has averaged 70 points per contest in their last five games, 14.4 PPG clear of the next-most prolific bench over the same period, the Pistons. The bench scored 92 points against the Nuggets and 80 points against the Heat, the two highest second unit marks in franchise history. “No matter who we’re plugging in, that’s the way we want to play,” backup guard Ish Smith observed.

Vince Carter Re-Signs With Hawks

SEPTEMBER 20: Carter’s signing is official, tweets Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated.

AUGUST 5: Vince Carter, the oldest player in the NBA, has agreed to return to the Hawks, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN tweets.

Carter, 42, will be playing for a record 22nd season. It’s expected to his last, Wojnarowski adds.

Carter will surpass Dirk NowitzkiRobert Parish, Kevin Willis and Kevin Garnett, who each played 21 seasons. Carter had already established the record for most seasons by a wing player. Kobe Bryant played 20 seasons.

Carter’s return to Atlanta was not a surprise. The team had held a roster spot open for him in anticipation a deal would eventually get done. The Hawks will now have 14 players with guaranteed contracts.

Other than Carter, the Hawks have the league’s youngest roster that includes rookies Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter and Bruno Fernando and last season’s Rookie of the Year finalist, Trae Young.

Carter proved that he was still an effective and durable player last season in Atlanta, appearing in 76 games, including nine starts. He averaged 7.4 PPG and shot 38.9% beyond the arc in 17.5 MPG. The future Hall of Famer began his career in 1998 with Toronto. The Hawks became the eighth team to acquire his services prior to last season.

Carter will add depth at the wing positions while also serving a mentorship role.