Basketball: Vince Carter announces retirement after 22 NBA seasons

Carter (above), who turned 43 in January, played his final NBA game on March 11, 2020. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - Eight-time NBA All-Star Vince Carter announced his retirement on Thursday (June 25) after a 22-season career that included 2000 Sydney Olympic gold and spectacular slam dunks during his "Vinsanity" heyday.

Carter, who turned 43 in January, came off the bench for the Atlanta Hawks this past season and played his final NBA game on March 11, the same night the league shut down after Utah's Rudy Gobert tested positive for Covid-19.

"I'm officially done playing professional basketball," Carter said on his podcast "Winging It."

The Hawks went 20-47 before the NBA went on hiatus and were not among the 22 clubs who qualified to compete in the NBA restart bubble starting in July at Orlando, ending their season and Carter's career.

Carter was selected fifth in the 1998 NBA Draft by Golden State and traded to the Toronto Raptors, where he became the 1999 NBA Rookie of the Year, his high-leaping acrobatics bringing a 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest title and the nickname "Air Canada."

Carter also played for the New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings and Atlanta as a shooting guard and small forward.

In 1,541 regular-season games, Carter averaged 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.0 steals a contest.

At the 2000 Olympics, Carter led the gold-medal US squad with 14.8 points a game.

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