Vince Carter has made the rare transition from superstar in the NBA to one of the most beloved role players and veteran leaders in the latter stages of his career.
Carter, in his 21st season in the league, has embraced becoming a glue guy on the bench — who can also still contribute on the floor. That transition is difficult for many stars, and there’s a long list of guys that have exited the league earlier than expected because they simply didn’t want to give up their starring role. Carter, however, took it as a challenge and the result has been a career into his 40s.
At 42, Carter is still averaging 7.5 points per game off the bench and knocking down an incredible 39.9 percent of his three-pointers, becoming an off-ball marksman after years of being one of the best off the dribble. Some have wondered if this will be Carter’s final season, but he seems intent on coming back and made that all but official on Wednesday night when he joined the Hawks broadcast for their game against the Sixers.
If Carter does return, it would be his 22nd NBA season, which would be a new record in the league, and given the way he’s played this year there’s no reason he should hang up his sneakers if he’s not ready. As for whether someone will have him or not, given the way Lloyd Pierce and the rest of the Hawks organization has raved about his presence in the locker room, one would expect Atlanta and other teams to be plenty interested in his services for a record breaking year.