Vince Carter’s career is finally coming to an end after 22 seasons. He became the only player to play in four different decades during his time with the Atlanta Hawks this year, but announced his retirement Thursday. He spent time with eight different teams over the course of his career before finally calling it quits. Let’s take a look at five of his brightest moments as a player.
Winning Rookie of the Year
Carter entered the NBA during a lockout year, so the season only lasted 50 games. He managed to step in and lead the Raptors in points per game (18.3) and blocks per game (1.5) and finished the year by accounting for 95.7 percent of the first place votes.
Leading the Toronto Raptors to their first playoff appearance
Carter became an All-Star in just his second NBA season with the Raptors and led them to their first ever playoff appearance in year three. He averaged 27.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 3.9 assists in 2000-01 and led Toronto past the New York Knicks in the first round before it fell to Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ers in his lone MVP season. He put young franchise on the map and forced a Game 7 against the team that went on to face Kobe Bryant and Shaq in the NBA Finals. Not bad.
Winning the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest
Although Carter is one of the greatest dunkers of all time, he only won one slam dunk contest. He arguably became best slam dunk champion of all time in 2000 as a second year player. Few elite in-game dunkers can bring the kind of flair and creativity Carter did.
Career-high 51 points vs. Suns in 2000
Believe it or not, Carter set his career high in points as a sophomore, just a few weeks after he won the slam dunk contest. He scored 51 points to in Toronto’s first ever nationally televised game, making himself known to the world. That became the first Raptor to score 50 points and held the franchise record for most points in a game until 2014.
The Weis dunk
Carter has completed some of the most amazing poster dunks we’ve ever seen. He absolutely destroyed Alonzo Mourning in 2005, but his dunk over 7’2” Frederick Weis during the 2000 Olympics was an even more spectacular feat. We might not see any player clear a human that massive again. This is considered the most impressive in-game dunk ever in many circles.