The storied career of NBA superstar Vince Carter has finally come to an end.
After 22 seasons, Carter, now 43, hung up his high-tops for the last time, announcing he's retiring. The announcement was made earlier today on the "Winging It With Vince Carter" podcast.
The eight-time NBA All-Star stated earlier that the 2019-20 NBA season would be his last, but then signed a one-year deal with the Atlanta Hawks which set the stage for what would be his final court appearance in March.
On March 11, 2020 against the New York Knicks, Carter walked into the floor in the final seconds of the game, sinking a dramatic three-pointer in what would be his last game as a pro player. The NBA suspended play that same night due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Carter is perhaps best known in his prime as the anchor for the Toronto Raptors. For seven seasons between 1998 and 2004, Carter was consistently among the NBA scoring leaders and he transformed the previously struggling franchise into a contender.
Carter emerged as a star in Toronto. He won the 1999 NBA Rookie of the Year Award and won the Slam Dunk Contest at the 2000 NBA All-Star Weekend. That summer, he represented the United States in the Summer Olympics, winning a gold medal. He entertained crowds with his leaping ability and slam dunks, earning nicknames such as "Vinsanity", "Air Canada", and "Half Man, Half Amazing." (source: Wikipedia)
Early in the 2004 season, Carter was traded to the New Jersey Nets, where he continued to shine and be one of the game's most popular players. Carter later played for the Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, and finally retired with the Atlanta Hawks.
Off the court, Carter's impact was just as meaningful to the greater good. He established the Embassy of Hope Foundation, assisting children and their families in Florida, New Jersey, and Ontario. Carter was also recognized in 2000 as Child Advocate of the Year by the Children's Home Society, and he received the Florida Governor's Points of Light award in 2007.
Vince Carter wasn't born in Canada, but he was and remains an inspiration and icon to all those who understand that class transcends national borders.
Thanks Vince, for the greatness and the memories.
Photo Credit: Getty Images