Carter finished his 22 years career with the Atlanta Hawks

Carter finished his career with the Atlanta Hawks

Vince Carter
Image:Vince Carter is regarded as one of the greatest dunkers of all time

Vince Carter has announced his retirement from the NBA, bringing an end to a 22-year career, the longest in the league’s history.

He made the announcement on the Winging It podcast, saying: “I’m officially finished playing basketball.”

Carter, 43, was the No 5 overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft and played his first six-plus seasons with the Toronto Raptors, winning the Rookie of the Year award in 1999 and the NBA Dunk Contest in 2000. He made eight consecutive All-Star teams from 2000-07.

The Hawks were the final stop of Carter’s NBA journey, as he spent the past two seasons as a veteran presence on a young Atlanta team. He also played with the New Jersey Nets (2004-09), Orlando Magic (2009-10), Phoenix Suns (2010-11), Memphis Grizzlies (2014-17) and Sacramento Kings (2017-18).

Vince Carter talks after possibly playing the last game of his career

Carter: Weird way to potentially end careerFollowing the NBA’s decision to suspend their season, Vince Carter reflected on what could potentially be the end of his 22-year professional career.

“Over the last two years, Vince Carter has been a committed leader, respected mentor and influential example on the court, in the locker room and in the Atlanta community,” the Hawks said in a team statement.

“Throughout his historic 22-year journey covering an unprecedented four different decades, his evolving career arc was perhaps like none other in league history – from Top 5 Draft Pick to Rookie of the Year to Slam Dunk Champion to superstar and eight-time All-Star to Twyman-Stokes Teammate of the Year and valuable role player.

“It’s an honour to the Hawks organisation that he completed his Hall of Fame career wearing Atlanta across his chest and representing our city.

Vince Carter
Image:Carter represented eight different teams in the NBA

Carter averaged more than 20 points per game in 10 seasons, with a career-high of 27.6 in 2000-01.

He retires with career averages of 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.1 assists per game.

The North Carolina product played 60 games for the Hawks in the 2019-20 season, averaging 5.0 points in 14.6 minutes per game.

The Hawks are not among the teams who will finish the coronavirus-interrupted season near Orlando, beginning next month.

He scored five points in his final career game, an overtime loss to the New York Knicks on March 11; the day the season was suspended. Carter’s 22nd season surpassed the 21 played by Robert Parish, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Willis and Dirk Nowitzki.