Atlanta Hawks guard Vince Carter, playing in what may be the final game of his career with the season being suspended by the NBA, gives Trae Young a hug after hitting a 3-pointer for the final shot of the game during a 136-131 overtime loss to the New York Knicks in a NBA basketball game. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com
Photo: Curtis Compton/Curtis Compton
Photo: Curtis Compton/Curtis Compton

Hawks call Vince Carter’s final two seasons an ‘honor’

What was long known to be the case is now official: Vince Carter has played his final NBA game.

The 22-year veteran, an NBA record for longevity, played his final two seasons with the Hawks. Carter made it clear at the start of the season this would be his last. He reiterated it when the NBA season was postponed March 11 – a game the Hawks lost to the Knicks as Carter entered in the final seconds and made the final shot of the game and his career with a 3-pointer.

The Hawks were one of eight teams, all out of the playoff contention, that will not go to Orlando next month when the NBA season resumes. With that, the 43-year-old Carter made the announcement of his retirement on his podcast released Thursday.

“I’m officially done playing basketball professionally,” Carter said.

Following the long-expected declaration, the Hawks issued the following statement: “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 ranks 19th all-time in NBA history in scoring and averaged 16.7 points in playing for eight teams. He has previously stated his desire to get into sports broadcasting.

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