Vince Carter went from defying gravity to ignoring father time. But after 21 seasons, Carter announced that next year will be his last year in the NBA.
On Wednesday's episode of ESPN's The Jump, Carter told the show's co-host Stephen Jackson that he has just "one more run" left before doubling down on the fact that he'll retire following the 2019-2020 season.
While Carter's announcement isn't exactly shocking, his retirement is something fans should only believe when it happens. Like The Jump's Rachel Nichols mentioned, Carter has pump-faked with retirement a few times. This includes last year, when he told The Undefeated that the 2018-2019 season would be the last time he wore an NBA jersey.
"I just think that after next season it is time. It’s been great," Carter told Marc Spears before adding: "Maybe two more years."
Carter's indecisiveness could be due to his consistent productivity as a role player. At 42 years old, Carter averaged 7.4 points on over 40 percent shooting as a member of the Atlanta Hawks. Carter's knack for finding a way to fit into a system speaks to his career trajectory. Early in his tenure, Vince's incredible athleticism solidified him as a cultural icon. This otherworldly leaping ability and artistic creativity were on full display during the 2000 All-Star Dunk Contest. Even in his later years, Carter could still out-dunk many of his younger counterparts.
But Carter was more than a dunker. In addition to slamming, Carter was a skilled player that was named to eight All-Star Games and two All-NBA teams. He was also able to modify his game as his athleticism decreased to become an effective veteran that played for eight franchises. But perhaps his greatest legacy will be what he meant for the game of basketball in Canada. After arriving in Toronto in 1998, Carter's otherworldly dunks helped put the Raptors on the map in Toronto and the country at large. In fact, it's hard to imagine the Raptors even sniffing the NBA Finals without the on-court antics of Mr. Half-Man Half-Amazing.