In the history of NBA basketball, there has been no player as successful and beloved by fans as Vince Carter. He started out his career with the Toronto Raptors before being traded to New Jersey Nets in 1998 where he won Rookie of The Year honors. After two seasons with them, they dealt him to Philadelphia 76ers for power forward Theo Ratliff who was a key component in their three-peat championship run. In 2003, he helped lead Dallas Mavericks to an NBA Championship but left after one season when team owner Mark Cuban decided not to give him a long term contract extension because it would have hurt the franchise financially. While some might argue that Carter’s play lost its luster during this tough stretch later on in his career, we believe otherwise…
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Vince Carter is known as the best dunker of all time. He was a great scorer, passer and defender. His career highlights include being selected to six All-Star teams, winning three scoring titles and an NBA Championship in 2001 with the Toronto Raptors.
Vince Carter was considered as one of the game’s most electric athletes when he first arrived in the league. Some of his colleagues regarded him as the greatest basketball player of all time. By the conclusion of his career, he had become the league’s oldest player. From his debut in 1999 through his retirement in 2020, he was the first player in NBA history to appear in 22 seasons and four decades.
With his healing skills and slam dunks, he earned the nicknames “Vinsanity,” “Air Canada,” and “Half Man, Half Amazing” throughout time. He is still widely considered as the greatest dunker of all time. He was also a phenomenal three-point shooter, finishing his career with the sixth-most three-point field goals in league history.
Carter may be gone for the time being, but we will never forget his brilliance. “Vinsanity” will be remembered for a long time. Let us continue to remember him as we reflect on his lengthy career.
NBA Honors and Awards: 8-time All-Star (2000-2007), All-NBA Second Team (2001), All-NBA Third Team (2000), Rookie of the Year (1999), All-Rookie First Team (1999), Slam Dunk Contest Champion (2000), Sportsmanship Award (2020), Teammate of the Year (2016)
From 1998 until 2004, the Toronto Raptors were known as the Raptors.
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Carter was taken with the No. 7 overall selection by the Golden State Warriors in 1998, but he was traded to the Raptors for Antawn Jamison, a former college teammate and buddy. Carter didn’t play in a game until 1999 because of the lockout. The squad struggled for the first three years of its existence. Carter was a key player in the Raptors’ first-ever playoff trip in 2000, as well as their first series victory in 2001.
Carter won Debut of the Year in his rookie season and went on to prominence the next year. He had the fourth-highest scoring average in the league at 25.7 points per game. He took part in the Slam Dunk Contest, which is still remembered as the most unforgettable of all time. A 360-degree windmill, a between-the-legs bounce dunk, and a “elbow in the rim” slam were among his dunks (the cookie jar). Carter easily won the competition.
Carter posted a career-high 27.6 points per game in his third season and was named to the NBA Second Team. He was selected as a starter for the All-Star Game, and he helped the squad set a franchise record with 47 victories. The Raptors advanced to the second round, but were eliminated by the 76ers and MVP Allen Iverson. Carter and Iverson dominated the series, with Carter scoring 50 points in Game 3 and setting an NBA playoff record for three-point field goals. Carter got a six-year contract extension after the season.
From 1973 to 1974, Carter and Charles Barkley were the only two players to ever complete a game with at least 40 points, 15 rebounds, five assists, and five steals. Carter missed the first 22 games of the season due to injury, a trend that he continued with Toronto in his latter years. Carter appeared in 43 games in 2002-2003, but he had to give up his starting berth in the All-Star Game to Michael Jordan. Carter appeared in 73 games for the club in 2003-2004, but they did not reach the playoffs.
From 2004 until 2009, the New Jersey Nets were a professional basketball team based in New Jersey
Glen Grunwald, the general manager, and the whole coaching staff were sacked during the 2004 offseason. Carter was fed up with senior management and demanded that Julius Erving be designated general manager. Instead, Erving was not considered, and the Raptors chose Rob Babcock, who intended to develop the club rather than making it a contender right away. As a result, Carter desired a transfer.
The supporters attempted to bring him together and influence his decisions. Babcock first refused the request, but on December 17, 2004, he caved in and dealt Carter to the Nets in exchange for Alonzo Mourning, Aaron Williams, Eric Williams, and two first-round draft selections. Carter was booed and jeered by fans in his first game back in Toronto. His shirts were set on fire by some supporters.
With the Nets, Carter put up some of his best stats, scoring 23.6 points per game. Carter was healthy from 2005 to 2007, missing just 11 games while leading the squad to three consecutive playoff berths. Carter proved to be a dangerous big three, with Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson.
The Nets won the Atlantic Division in 2005-2006 and helped the Nets advance to the second round of the playoffs. Carter averaged 29.6 points, 7.0 rebounds, and 5.3 assists in 11 postseason games, despite losing to the eventual champion Heat. Carter and Kidd were the first teammates to post triple-doubles in the same game in almost 18 years, since Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen in 1989. Kidd scored 10 points, 16 rebounds, and 18 assists, while Carter ended with 45 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists.
Carter inked a four-year contract with the Nets in the summer. Kidd was dealt to the Mavericks the following year. Carter was named captain of the Nets, and he and Devin Harris were named the league’s top scoring starting backcourt in 2008-2009. His best performance this season came against the Raptors, when he scored 39 points, including a game-winning reverse slam to cap an 18-point comeback, and the Nets won 129-127 in overtime.
2009-2010 Orlando Magic
Carter was dealt to the Magic along with Ryan Anderson in the 2009 offseason for Rafer Alston, Tony Battie, and Courtney Lee. While establishing his shot, Orlando hoped Carter would assist All-Star big Dwight Howard with perimeter scoring. The Magic had just returned from a trip to the NBA Finals.
Carter had his greatest game against the Hornets, scoring 48 points, including 34 in the second half to help the team come back from a 17-point deficit. Carter was a key part of the Magic’s run to the Eastern Conference Finals, when they were defeated by the Celtics in six games. Carter’s appearance in the Conference Finals would be his only one.
2010-2011 Phoenix Suns
Carter was acquired by the Suns in a six-player deal with the Magic on December 18, 2010. Carter was acquired in exchange for Hedo Turkoglu, Jason Richardson, and Earl Clark, as well as Marcin Gortat, Mickael Pietrus, $3 million, and a first-round draft selection. Carter achieved 20,000 career points during the season, becoming the 37th player in NBA history to do it.
The Suns concluded the season with a record of 40-42. Three Suns waived Carter, requiring the organization to pay him just $4 million of his $18 million salary. He would discover his new team just a few days later.
2011-2014 Dallas Mavericks
Carter signed a three-year deal with the reigning NBA champion Mavericks only three days after being released. He was reunited with Jason Kidd as a result of this transfer. Carter became the eighth player in NBA history to reach 1,500 career three-pointers in his rookie season. With the Mavericks, it was his outside shooting that improved over time, not his signature acrobatic dunks.
During Carter’s time with the Mavericks, he had several highs. This includes overtaking Larry Bird for second place on the all-time scoring list. In a season, he would make 162 three-point shots, tying a career best set in Toronto. He was 27th on the all-time scoring list at the end of the 2012-2013 season. After Jason Terry left the club for the 2013-2014 season, Carter established himself as the squad’s sixth man.
During the first 22 games, he averaged 10.5 points and shot 37.6% from the field. With Terry’s departure, he was given additional responsibilities, yet his stats slowly improved during the year. The Mavericks reached the playoffs towards the conclusion of the year, but his postseason misfortunes continued as the Mavericks were eliminated in seven games by the top-seeded Spurs.
2014-2017 Memphis Grizzlies
Carter signed a multi-year contract with the Grizzlies in the 2014 summer. Carter proved to the community that he still “got it” by assisting Courtney Lee on a game-winning alley-oop assist at the buzzer in a 111-110 victory against the Kings. Carter’s season high was 18 points, but it was when he returned to Toronto that he had his greatest performance.
Carter was a part of the team’s 20th-anniversary celebration over a decade after the transaction. Carter was honored with a video tribute from the franchise. Carter received a standing ovation as the footage was shown to the sold-out audience. Carter seemed to be distraught as he wiped away tears with his warmup.
Carter was named Teammate of the Year in 2015-2016, a honor given to the finest teammate who is unselfish both on and off the court. Carter had taken on the role of mentor and role model at this point. Carter, on the other hand, continued to find his way into games. He’d break into the NBA’s top-25 in terms of games played, and he’d outperform players like Gary Payton, Charles Oakley, and Jason Kidd in a variety of categories.
Crater became the first 40-year-old player to start an NBA game since Juwan Howard in 2013. He also became the oldest player to hit six triples in a single game at the age of 40 years, 46 days. Carter moved over of Ray Allen in the three-point rankings and overtook Kobe Bryant for 13th place in regular-season games played.
2017-2018 Sacramento Kings
Carter inked a one-year agreement with the Kings in the summer. The NBA Players Association honored him the Most Influential Veteran in August. Carter was out for seven games because of a kidney stone, but he returned to score a season-high 24 points. It was the first time in a game where a 40-year-old reserve scored at least 20 points. His 10-of-12 shooting percentage was the second best of his career.
Carter and Manu Ginobili scored 21 and 15 points, respectively, on January 28, 2018. It was the first time two players above the age of 40 scored at least 15 points in the same game. Carter was given the NBA’s Backbone Award and Most Respected Award winner after passing Patrick Ewing on the all-time scoring record.
2018-2020 Atlanta Hawks
Carter retained an impact on the Hawks throughout their rebuilding process. At 41 years and 264 days, Carter became the second-oldest player in NBA history to start a game. Only Robert Parish (42 years, 65 days) was the oldest starter on opening night. Carter scored his 25,000th career point later in the season. Carter scored a team-high 21 points in December, breaking Kareem Abdul-record Jabbar’s of being the oldest player in league history to lead his team in scoring.
Carter had a number of career highs this season, including overtaking Jerry West and Reggie Miller for third place in the all-time rankings. He played the most minutes for the Hawks in a 168-161 triple overtime defeat against the Bulls on March 1, 2019. He became the oldest player to play at least 45 minutes in a game at the age of 42.
Carter indicated in his last season that he intended to retire at the conclusion of the season. Carter became the sixth player in NBA history to play in at least 1,500 games during the season. He finally passed Alex English in scoring and Dirk Nowitzki in games played to take third place. Carter returned to the field in the closing seconds of a game against the Knicks on March 11, 2020, and hit a three-pointer. The NBA stopped the remainder of the season on that day because to the COVID-19 epidemic, therefore it was his last shot. The Hawks were not invited to play in the playoffs if they finished the season on the bubble.
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