The 22-year career of Vince Carter — one that spanned four decades in the NBA — officially came to an end Thursday as Carter announced his retirement on the “Winging It” podcast.
“Half man, half amazing” spent the first half of his career as a perennial All-Star (earning that honor in eight consecutive seasons), leading the Raptors and Nets to five playoff appearances and three series wins. He made the transformation into a valuable veteran teammate over the last few years, becoming a mentor in the Memphis, Sacramento, and Atlanta locker rooms to close out his career.
The Kings only had him for one season in 2017-18, but he left an indelible impact in that time. The players took to social media upon the confirmation of Carter’s retirement to express what he meant to them.
Bogdan Bogdanovic spent his rookie season alongside Carter and his first NBA minutes came when he subbed in for the veteran. Bogdanovic’s on-court plus-minus jumped from -9.3 with Carter off the court to -3.9 with Carter on the court, per Cleaning the Glass, demonstrating Carter’s positive influence as both a player and as a leader.
Harrison Barnes was never teammates with Carter, but followed in his footsteps to North Carolina, and then later Dallas and Sacramento once he was in the NBA. The former Tar Heels nevertheless shared a bond, and Barnes expressed regret that the Kings and the Hawks missed out on their last game against each other due to the league shutdown.
VC! Congrats on a HOF career. I’m hot we didn’t get to play against you one more time. Thank you bro for all you given to me over the years and the impact you’ve had on the league for 20+ years. Enjoy your well deserved retirement! #ThankYouVince pic.twitter.com/XiAIrdQWCe— Harrison Barnes (@hbarnes) June 25, 2020
Alex Len and Carter didn’t overlap in Sacramento, but the two were teammates for a year and a half in Atlanta before Len was traded to the Kings. As Len notes, Carter was beloved as a teammate during the latter part his playing career, even winning the Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year award in 2016.
The Kings also shared one last fun memory of early Carter, back when he could jump out of the gym. Enjoy this interview with Carter about the dunk heard ‘round the world from the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Carter will be missed among the players, but hopefully he has a second act in the media so he remains a part of the NBA community.