NBA

Vince Carter 'cool' with realisation his record-breaking NBA career could be over

By Sports Desk March 12, 2020

Vince Carter had accepted this would be his final NBA season - and now he has resigned himself to the fact it might already be over.

The 43-year-old eight-time All-Star became the first player in league history to play in 22 NBA seasons when he began his second campaign with the Atlanta Hawks.

Carter, who was the fifth overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft, has also played with the Toronto Raptors, New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings.

He nailed a three-pointer with 13 seconds remaining in the Hawks' 136-131 defeat to the New York Knicks on Wednesday evening.

And that might be his last act as a player in the NBA, with the coronavirus threat leading the league to suspend all matches indefinitely.

It remains to be seen whether the season is formally called to an early end, but as the pandemic causes life to come to a standstill in many parts of the world, Carter is comfortable with the notion his playing career might be done.

Carter said: "If it ended today and you know this day, this end of the season, these last 16 games, will be talked about for a very long time. And that's something I'll always remember, at least I scored my last basket and there'll be a weird but cool memory.

"It's a weird way to say I'm calling a career - you don't have any more games left. I still technically have eligibility. I have 15 games left - but if not, I'm [at] one with it."

Speaking in a news conference, Carter recalled a chat with the late Kobe Bryant that allowed him to come to terms with the idea this would be his final year playing, saying it gave him "the confidence and comfort" to speak openly about walking away.

"It's cool, though. Basketball has been good to me and I've enjoyed every moment, good and bad," Carter said.

The World Health Organization said there have been 129,822 coronavirus cases globally, and 4,751 deaths.

"When you throw the word 'death' around, I think that kind of shocks everybody and puts us in a frenzy and puts everyone on guard. You can't get away from that," Carter said.

"You feel for everyone who has a lot more to worry about than us as young athletes. We're just doing the right thing.

"Yes it feels weird, but I'm okay with it because I understand what is the bigger picture."

Related items

  • On this day in sport: The Olympics are reborn, Messi and Bayern go goal crazy On this day in sport: The Olympics are reborn, Messi and Bayern go goal crazy

    There will be no Olympic Games in 2020, but 124 years ago saw the rebirth of the great sporting spectacle.

    Arsenal were swept aside by the brilliance of Lionel Messi in a thrilling Champions League game at Camp Nou, while Bayern Munich brought an end to Borussia Dortmund's hopes of dethroning them in the Bundesliga.

    Robert Parish set a record for the most NBA games appeared in, and Sri Lanka got their hands on the World Twenty20 trophy at the expense of India.

    We look back at some of the standout sporting moments that have happened on this day.

     

    1896 – The start of a new Olympic era

    The ancient Greek tradition of the Olympic Games got back under way 1,500 years after they were outlawed by Roman Emperor Theodosius I in a bid to suppress paganism.

    Frenchman Pierre de Coubertin was pivotal to their revival, spearheading the formation of the International Olympic Committee in 1894 and subsequently the first Games of the modern era, which were held in Athens.

    A crowd of 60,000 people turned up for the start of a spectacle that saw 280 participants from 13 nations take part in 43 events.

     

    1996 – 'The Chief' makes NBA history

    In a meeting between the Charlotte Hornets and the Cleveland Cavaliers, towering center Parish played his 1,561st NBA game to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and set a new record.

    He had 14 points, nine rebounds, four assists and three blocks in the 93-89 win over the Cavaliers.

    Parish made his name with the Boston Celtics, with whom he won three NBA championships, and had made 1,611 appearances across 21 seasons when he called it quits after claiming his third ring with the Chicago Bulls in 1997.

     

    2010 – Messi fires against Gunners

    Arsenal came back from 2-0 down to draw the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final against Barcelona 2-2, and Nicklas Bendtner put the Gunners ahead in the return match at Camp Nou.

    However, Messi flashed a stunning effort past Manuel Almunia two minutes later and, after slotting home a pass from Pedro, he had a hat-trick before the break thanks to a brilliant chip over the Arsenal goalkeeper.

    An excellent solo effort sealed a 4-1 triumph in the 88th minute that sent Barca through to a semi-final with Jose Mourinho's Inter, who stunned them at Camp Nou and went on to claim the treble.

     

    2014 – A T20 first for Sri Lanka

    Some excellent death bowling from Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekara limited India to a below-par 130-4 in a thrilling World T20 final in Dhaka.

    Despite slipping to 65-3 in their chase, Sri Lanka surged to their first title by securing a resounding six-wicket victory with 13 balls remaining.

    Kumar Sangakkara made an unbeaten 52 in his final T20I and Thisara Perera blasted 23 off 14 deliveries, which included three sixes.

     

    2019 – Dortmund obliterated in Der Klassiker

    Bayern's chances of clinching a seventh straight Bundesliga title were in danger of being blown apart when Dortmund arrived at the Allianz Arena for the 28th round of matches with a two-point lead at the top, though their advantage had stood at nine points in December.

    The Bavarian giants made light work of Lucien Favre's side in a brutal display of supremacy, storming into a four-goal lead by half-time thanks to efforts from former Dortmund duo Mats Hummels and Robert Lewandowski, as well as Javi Martinez and Serge Gnabry.

    Lewandowski tapped in a cross from Thomas Muller with a minute remaining to complete BVB's 5-0 humiliation, a result that ended their hopes of dethroning Bayern.

  • Coronavirus: NBA 2K20 tournament quarter-finals set as Booker, Drummond advance Coronavirus: NBA 2K20 tournament quarter-finals set as Booker, Drummond advance

    Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker and the Cleveland Cavaliers' Andrew Drummond reached the quarter-finals of the NBA 2K20 charity tournament on Sunday.

    With the NBA postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic, a charity tournament has been put together to raise money in support of COVID-19 relief efforts.

    Winner of the single-elimination Xbox One tournament will receive $100,000 to give to charity, and Brooklyn Nets superstar Kevin Durant – the top seed – was a high-profile casualty on Friday.

    Fifth seed Booker defeated Michael Porter Jr. of the Denver Nuggets 85-75 in the opening round, while sixth seed Drummond crushed former Golden State Warriors center DaMarcus Cousins 101-49.

    Rui Hachimura of the Washington Wizards topped Utah Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell 74-71 and Los Angeles Clippers center Montrezl Harrell eased past Indiana Pacers star Domantas Sabonis 73-51.

    The quarters are now set, with Harrell to meet Miami Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr., who stunned Durant on Friday.

    Booker will play Hachimura, Atlanta Hawks star Trae Young takes on Suns center Deandre Ayton and Drummond goes head-to-head against Clippers guard Patrick Beverley.

    The tournament – being aired on ESPN – will continue on Tuesday and conclude on Saturday.

  • From protege and mentor to rivals: When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar surpassed Wilt Chamberlain From protege and mentor to rivals: When Kareem Abdul-Jabbar surpassed Wilt Chamberlain

    It was April 5, 1984, and it could barely have happened in a more fitting way.

    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar posted up 7ft 4in Utah Jazz center Mark Eaton and received a pass from Magic Johnson on the right wing.

    Rickey Green sped across for the double team and blocked Abdul-Jabbar's path into the lane, though he was unable to steal the ball at the same time.

    The Los Angeles Lakers star then pivoted towards the baseline and sent a trademark sky hook over Eaton to send the Las Vegas crowd crazy.

    With that bucket, Abdul-Jabbar surpassed the great Wilt Chamberlain's career haul of 31,419 points and became the NBA's all-time leading scorer.

    Speaking on court after the game, NBA commissioner David Stern said: "Kareem, you are one of the greatest athletes ever to play our game."

    A difficult relationship

    When he was just 14 years old, Abdul-Jabbar was a protege of Chamberlain during the latter's time with the Philadelphia Warriors.

    When Abdul-Jabbar entered the league with the Milwaukee Bucks as the first overall pick from the 1969 draft, his former mentor was in his twilight years with the Lakers.

    It was an era when the league was dominated by big men, and the pair rapidly became on-court rivals. Competitiveness brought an end to their intertwined history.

    Asked to explain why they were no longer close in a 1987 interview, Chamberlain said: "Well, I would say that athletes are really tough people, they have a lot of pride, they're very, very competitive and him and I are natural rivals. Even though we grew up together in one way, we still are rivals.

    "I would love to be more friendly with Kareem, but maybe he's in a different world than I am right now."

    Wilt at a loss

    Chamberlain had hoped to be in attendance when Abdul-Jabbar surpassed his points haul against the Jazz but claimed he had been detained in Los Angeles.

    Speaking to the Los Angeles Times the following day, he was baffled by the furore Abdul-Jabbar's landmark moment had caused.

    ''It's curious. It's really quite strange. If I had received half the fanfare that Kareem's getting at this time, I wouldn't know what to do with myself," said Chamberlain.

    "It doesn't make sense. And there are a few things that are bothering me about it. If this is so great, well, it's only one of about 90 [records] I held. I must be in a world by myself.''

    One of the all-time greats

    Those records Chamberlain spoke of? Well, to name but a few, they include:

    - Averaging the most points per game in a season with 50.4 in 1961-62. He also holds the next three spots on the all-time list.

    - Being the only player to score 100 points in a single game.

    - Having the most career rebounds in the NBA (23,934) and the most in a single game (55).

    Criticism of Kareem

    It is therefore understandable that Abdul-Jabbar had his detractors when he set a new scoring record.

    They pointed to it taking him 15 seasons to reach a points total that Chamberlain managed in 14.

    Then there was the fact he had played 121 more games, although Chamberlain racked up over 2,000 more minutes.

    Incredible longevity

    However, there can be no doubting that after scoring that sky hook against the Jazz, Abdul-Jabbar cemented his place in NBA history.

    He went on to play 20 seasons in the league, which at the time was a record, take MVP honours on six occasions and win as many rings before retiring at the age of 42.

    By the time he called it quits, Abdul-Jabbar had scored 38,387 points in the NBA – averaging 24.6 per game across an illustrious career.

    Karl Malone sits second on the list with 36,928 points, with the closest active player LeBron James sitting 4,300 away from Abdul-Jabbar's historic mark.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.