Vince Carter shows he’s half-man, still-amazing at 40

JR Isaga
Vince Carter shows he’s half-man, still-amazing at 40
Vince Carter becomes the first 40-year old to score at least 24 since Michael Jordan in a win over the Cavaliers

MANILA, Philippines – Half-man, still-amazing.

Two days after they lost a heated Christmas Day Finals rematch to the Golden State Warriors, the Cleveland Cavaliers found themselves losing again in California, this time to the lowly Sacramento Kings, 109-95, led by a highly-regarded legend, Vince Carter.

It was King vs King as the 40-year old Sacramento King emerged victorious over “The King” of Cleveland. Although the 32-year old “King James” recorded yet another triple double of 16 points, 10 rebounds and 14 assists, it was the former Mr. “Air Canada” who scored more with 24 points on 4/5 shooting from downtown.

According to stats site Basketball-Reference, Vince Carter is the first active 40-year old NBA player to score at least 20 points since “The Mailman” Karl Malone in 2004. However, since Carter already held that distinction twice last season in Memphis (21 points vs. Indiana and 24 points vs. Milwaukee), let’s take a look at the last 40-year old who scored 24 in a game.

Oh look, of course it’s Michael Jordan, who scored 26 points on April 8, 2003 also against the Cavaliers – two months before that fateful 2003 draft.

Overall, Carter (3 20-point games) joins an elite group of old men who have scored at least 20 in a game at the age of 40: Michael Jordan (20 times), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (16 times), John Stockton (9 times), Robert Parish (6 times) and Karl Malone (4 times). It’s probably no coincidence that all 5 of Carter’s companions are Hall of Famers.

Getting enough playing time instead of riding the bench of a contending team is the reason why Carter, who still has no NBA championship in his resume, chose to sign with the rebuilding Kings.

“Great opportunity for me,” Carter told NBC Sports California. “I always liked the state. At this point, it’s not really about the money, moreso than the opportunity. I still want to play in this league. I didn’t want to sit and collect a check and ride a wave of some championship team.

“And maybe down the line, maybe that option (joining a championship team) I’ll really embark on,” Carter added. “Until then, I want to play, I want to contribute and still help the young guys get better and go through the ups and downs of this league, ‘cause I’ve been there.”

Carter joined a Kings squad featuring 5 rookies in De’Aaron Fox, Justin Jackson, Harry Giles, Frank Mason III and Bogdan Bogdanovic, as well as 4 second-year players in Georgios Papagiannis, Buddy Hield, Skal Labissiere and Malachi Richardson. –

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