Vince Carter recently re-signed with the Atlanta Hawks. This will bring Carter back for what will be his 22nd season of NBA-level basketball. Not only will it be his 22nd season, but it will also be his last. Carter’s name will be remembered for a long time, along with the impact he leaves on the game and the legacy he crafted in his 22 years.
Vince Carter’s Legacy: The End of The Road
Barring any trades during the season, Vince Carter will finish his career with the Atlanta Hawks. This will be Carter’s second season with the Hawks. The team went 23-59 last season and kept a roster spot open for Carter this offseason in case he chose to return to the Hawks. The Hawks keeping open a roster sport for a man who celebrated his 41st birthday while on the team is a testament to the likeability and character Carter has made for himself over his lengthy career. Carter put up numbers that proved to be far below his career averages in his first season for the Hawks. Carter only managed to put up 7.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game, against career averages of 17.2 points and 4.4 rebounds.
Vince Carter’s Legacy: Jurrasic Park’s First Dinosaur
When Carter came into the league in the 1998 draft, he was immediately shoved into the spotlight. Carter found his way onto the Toronto Raptors by way of a draft-day trade with the Golden State Warriors for Antawn Jamison. For Jamison, the Raptors were able to get the first true franchise icon in their short history, and a player that would leave a lasting impact not only on the franchise but the popularity of basketball in Canada. Carter was a strong and reliable player for the Raptors during his seven seasons. Carter still finds his name plastered all over Toronto record books. Though not necessarily being at the top of straightforward stats anymore, he still finds high rankings amongst the advanced statistics categories of Raptors history books.
Vince Carter put up career averages of 23.4 points and 5.2 rebounds as a member of the Toronto Raptors. He was their first franchise icon and was one of the most beloved players. Not only beloved by Toronto fans but NBA fans across the league. He was traded from the Raptors while at the top of numerous all-time categories for the young franchise and is one of the most iconic players to wear a Raptors jersey.
Vince Carter’s Legacy: “Le dunk de la mort” – It’s Over Ladies and Gentlemen
There are two moments that you can almost certainly guarantee Vince Carter will be remembered for in basketball history. His performance during the 2000 NBA Dunk Contest, and his posterization of Frenchman Frederic Weis during the 2000 Olympics. His dunk in the 2000 Olympics is so memorable because of how it happened. Carter got a steal as the French tried to run it down the court and then the only thing that was standing between Carter and the hoop was Frederic Weis. The thing about Weis is he is 7’2”. Carter decided to jump right over Weis and dunk the ball. The dunk is one of the greatest basketball moments ever.
2000 would turn out to be a great year for Carter and the art of dunking. Having it capped off with such an iconic dunk closer to the end of the year. The start of the year was when Carter cemented his place amongst the dunking elite in NBA history. In 2000, the NBA brought back the Dunk Contest at All-Star weekend after a two-year hiatus. Carter would go on to put forward one of the single greatest dunk contest performances of all time. Everyone knew Carter could definitely fly, but his revival and reinvigoration of the Dunk Contest is certainly the most famous impact Carter will leave.
Vince Carter’s Legacy: Role Sacrifice
When Vince Carter came into the league, drafted by the Toronto Raptors, he was immediately shoved into the spotlight. Becoming the first true superstar of the new franchise, Carter always had the light on him. Along with the spotlight came the weight of the team though.
Carter over the last four to five years of his career was able to comfortably take a step back in his role. Realizing that he is getting to the end of his playing career, Carter has taken a very noble approach to the last few years of his career. Preferring to sign with teams full of young players and providing veteran presence and mentorship to the young guys, helping to better them for the future in the NBA.
Vince Carter’s Legacy: All-Man-All-Amazing
Vince Carter has had a long career in the NBA. By the end of the 2019-20 NBA season, Carter will have passed Dikembe Mutombo as the fourth oldest NBA player in history. He needs 42 more games to pass both John Stockton and Dirk Nowitzki on the career games played list. Carter has carved a long and successful career while apart of numerous teams in his 22 years. He has played at superstar levels, had superstar levels of popularity. But he has also been able to take the backseat to younger talent throughout his career. He has always remained consistently popular and should find his way into the Hall of Fame. An icon and a legend, everyone has enjoyed watching Vince Carter play, and he will be missed when he’s gone.
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