MANILA, Philippines – Vince Carter has always said that he wanted to walk away from the game of basketball “on his own terms.”
But in a sudden, shocking development, that may no longer be the case.
In one of the most unprecedented twists in basketball history, Carter’s 22-year NBA career may have just abruptly ended after the COVID-19 pandemic forced an indefinite suspension of league activities on Wednesday, March 11 (Thursday, March 12, Manila time).
Although nothing yet is set in stone and the league may still continue its season in the future, the Atlanta Hawks forward already braced for the worst in an emotional press conference following an overtime home loss to the New York Knicks. (READ: NBA to suspend season after Jazz player tests positive for coronavirus)
Clearly at a loss for words, Carter fought back tears and showed his appreciation for the game and his record-setting time in the NBA.
“I’m appreciative but, I’ll do my time and walk out the door. It’s okay with me, believe it or not,” he said. “It’s cool. Believe it or not, it’s cool.”
“I just… the game’s been good,” he concluded following a long silence.
After learning of the NBA’s decision to suspend all activities following Rudy Gobert testing positive for COVID-19, Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce subbed Carter in for one last play as the Knicks were up 8, 136-128, with just 19.5 seconds left.
Young All-Star guard Trae Young then dumped the ball in the final possession to a trailing Carter, who promptly drained a pull-up triple with the Knicks intentionally freezing their defense.
With the NBA season suspended until further notice, Vince Carter checks in and drills a three in the final seconds. pic.twitter.com/XLW1t7uIjW— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) March 12, 2020
If indeed the season would be canceled altogether, it would definitely be an unceremonious end to a legendary career that spanned 4 different decades. (READ: NBA season over: ‘Unprecedented, unreal’)
Carter, the oldest active NBA player at 43, currently holds impressive career averages of 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1 steal spanning across 1540 regular season appearances.
“Vinsanity” will finish his career as an Olympic gold medalist, eight-time All-Star and a surefire lock for the Basketball Hall of Fame. – Rappler.com