After 22 seasons in the NBA, including the last two with the Atlanta Hawks, Vince Carter is calling it a career.
Carter announced his retirement Thursday morning on his podcast with Annie Finberg, distributed by The Ringer.
"I'm officially done playing basketball professionally," said Carter on the Winging It Podcast. "It's tough, since near the end of March, I've felt it's pretty much over. I was able to put the abrupt ending aside for the bigger picture."
The final game of Carter's career came during the final night of play before the league shut down amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Hawks Head Coach Lloyd Pierce inserted Carter into a double-overtime loss to the Knicks where the aging superstar made a three-pointer as his final shot as an NBA player.
"Making my last shot helped the situation," Carter said. "I'd have been itching to at least play one minute and make one shot. As a player playing your last game, whether you know it or not, you always want to say 'Well, at least I made my last shot of my career,' and I can actually say that so I'm happy."
Carter's two seasons with Atlanta as a role player offered a glimpse into the leadership role he served for eight different teams in his NBA career. His best seasons came with the Raptors & Nets, where he was named the 1998-99 Rookie of the Year & made the NBA All-Star team eight straight seasons.
The Hawks released the following statement upon Carter's announcement:
"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. 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 honor to the Hawks organization that he completed his Hall-of-Fame career wearing Atlanta across his chest and representing our city."
Carter retires with 25,728 career points, 19th on the All-Time NBA career list.