Vince Carter confirmed that he retired from the NBA and ended his 22-year career.
Carter, 43, announced his retirement on The Ringer’s “Winging It With Vince Carter” podcast, saying he “has officially finished playing basketball professionally.”
Carter initially announced last year, when he signed a one-year contract with the Atlanta Hawks, that 2019-20 would be his last season in the NBA.
But the eight-time All-Star had not addressed his playing status since the NBA season was suspended on March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The NBA announced earlier this month that it would resume its season with 22 teams at Walt Disney World in July. But the Hawks (20-47), who have the fourth worst record in the league, are among the eight teams not included in the NBA restart, which means that the season and Carter’s career ended in March.
Thanks Vince ❤️
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🐐: https://t.co/TtTw0ozXOJ#H15TORY x #TrueToAtlanta pic.twitter.com/gsMabqQGF4
– Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) June 25, 2020
Carter acknowledged on the podcast, released Thursday, that the abrupt end was “tough,” but emphasized that he was at peace with his decision to withdraw, especially in the context of the pandemic.
“If there was any disappointment because of the season, some of that, it was easier to put it aside and handle it that way,” Carter said. “It’s like, OK, it’s somewhat bigger than my career … It’s unfortunate, but with the coronavirus taking people’s lives quickly, that’s the big picture in my mind.”
“So I was able to put aside the strange ending, the abrupt interruption of the game, for the end.”
Carter is ranked 19th of all time in NBA history in scoring and was the league’s Rookie of the Year in 1999. He averaged 16.7 points per game and played for eight different teams, especially with the Raptors and Nets.
Considered one of the best dunkers in basketball history, Carter won the Slam Dunk contest at the All-Star Weekend in 2000. He also made NBA history earlier this year, when he became the first NBA player to appear in at least one game in four different decades. .