NBA veteran Vince Carter poised to make the longest 22-season-played record
On Friday, 20 September 2019, the NBA basketball team Atlanta Hawks annouced that, they have signed a one-year extension contract with the 42-year-old veteran Vince Carter, the current NBA’s oldest active player. And the 2019-2020 season will also be Carter’s 22nd and, according to Carter himself, probably the last season of his NBA career before the retirement.
Notably, after the official one-year contract was signed, Vince Carter is poised to break a series of NBA records in the coming new season. Before the 2019-2020 season, Carter had played in the NBA league for a total of 21 seasons, the longest time recorded among all NBA players, except for a tie with the other four retried legendary NBA players: Dirk Nowitzki (1998-2019 seasons played in the NBA), Kevin Garnett (1995-2016 seasons played), Kevin Willis (1984-1988, 1989-2005, and 2006-2007 seasons played) and Robert Parrish (1976-1997 seasons played). However, after the commencement of the next 2019-2020 season in late October, Vince Carter would surpass all the above four and keep the enviable record for himself only.
Meanwhile, Vince Carter would also have the chance to move upwards on the list of all-time number of NBA career games played (in the regular season). Currently, Carter ranks fifth with 1481 games behind John Stockton (1504 games), Dirk Nowitzki (1522 games), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1560 games), and Robert Parrish (1611 games). Carter would possibly have the opportunity to surpass both John Stockton and Dirk Nowitzki, and theoretically to rank second if he could play at least 79 games in the current 82-game regular season.
Furthermore, if Vince Carter could stay with the Hawks team through the new year 2020 (without being bought out, or any other special circumstances), he would become the first player in NBA recorded history to appear on the court in four different decades (1990s, 2000s, 2010s and 2020s). This is equally remarkable and enviable.
In the previous 2018-2019 season, Vince Carter averaged 7.4 points, 2.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in 17.5 minutes from 76 games (started 9 games) he played for the Atlanta Hawks team, which has been under the process of rebuilding. Remarkably for an veteran, he was still shooting at a 38.9-percentage accuracy from the field.
Those technical statitics, of course, are only representive of his declining years’ level of performance. He was an 8-time NBA All-Star (2000-2007) in his early career, won the 1999 NBA Rookie of the Year Award, and won the championship of the Slam Dunk Contest at the 2000 NBA All-Star Weekend.
During that 2000 Slam Dunk Contest, which is regarded as the most memorable in its event history, Vince Carter won the contest by performing an array of “fancy dunks” including a 360° windmill slam dunk, and a between the legs bounce dunk, etc. For most of his old fans, his windmill dunk has become a perennial classic.
As the fifth overall pick in the first round of 1998 NBA draft (selected by the Golden State Warriors, then traded to Toronto Raptors), Vince Carter has played for eight different NBA teams over his career (1998-2004 Toronto Raptors, 2004-2009 New Jersey Nets, 2009-2010 Orlando Magic, 2010-2011 Phoenix Suns, 2011-2014 Dallas Mavericks, 2014-2017 Memphis Grizzlies, 2017-2018 Sacramento Kings, 2018-2020 Atlanta Hawks), and the Hawks team is his eighth and probably final one.
In Toronto, Vince Carter played an important role in leading the Toronto Raptors to their first playoff appearance in franchise history in 2000, and then first ever playoff series win in 2001. In the following years, he was affected by various injuries which eventually led to his trade to the New Jersey Nets, embarking on a drifting career thereafter.
Over the total 1481 games he has played so far, Vince Carter has scored 25430 total points, and career averages of 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.0 steal in 30.7 minutes. The only regret for his NBA career was, probably, without winning a title. However, he represented the United States national team and won the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games Championship.
Finally, we may want to ask why the Atlanta Hawks would want to recruit this 42-year-old veteran. Probably the comments made by a Hawks upper management official have provided the answer: he (Vince Carter) has served as a great mentor for the rookies and younger players in this rebuilding team throughout the 2018-2019 season, and we are more than satisfied.