Vince Carter said family and life after basketball were the main reasons he chose to return to the Hawks for his record 22nd and final NBA season.
Carter appeared on the Winging It podcast which posted Monday with now former teammate Kent Bazemore, who was traded to the Trail Blazers in the offseason. Carter was asked by host Annie Finberg why he will return to Atlanta.
“It’s a great opportunity,” Carter said. “The big picture of it all, I can still work on life after basketball, broadcasting and just being around that. Close to family. My daughter is now a high schooler so – I don’t talk about my daughter much but she is a high schooler and playing varsity. She is a freshman but she’s playing varsity volleyball so I get a chance to watch her. On off days, I’ll probably make that trip to Charlotte a couple times to watch her play. It all makes sense. For me, I just want it to make sense. If there was a great opportunity elsewhere, I definitely would look into it but I just wanted it all to fit. When you are going into your last year, you just want it to be a smooth ride, for everyone really.”
Carter has agreed to terms with the Hawks on a one-year deal to conclude his Hall of Fame career. The signing will likely be made official close to the start of training camp later this month as Carter still needs to pass a portion of his physical exam. The Hawks are scheduled to open camp with media day on Sept. 30.
Carter is aware that there will be plenty of pomp surrounding his final season.
“For me, I’m going to enjoy it,” Carter said. “I’m going to have fun. I know it’s going to be a lot going on, a circus. I’m not really looking forward to that, to be honest, just because I try to go into it as it’s still my job and I get the importance of it all but it’s just that I still want it to be all about basketball and the year. I still want to have a good year. Just do what I’ve been doing. Stay healthy, for one, and just be the vet that I can be. Knock down shots and make plays when I’m called upon.”
The 42-year-old Carter was more than a role player for the Hawks last season. He appeared in 76 games and averaged 7.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists. He had a .419 field goal percentage. Early last season, Carter became the 22nd player in NBA history to eclipse the 25,000 career point total. In addition, he was every bit the valuable locker room presence the Hawks hoped for when they added him to a young team.