Vince Carter is widely remembered for his legendary ability as a dunker and is destined for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
Carter made eight consecutive All-Star teams between 1999-2000 and 2006-2007, a stretch that began in his second season. During that span, he averaged 24.6 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.2 assists per game. Carter detailed what he learned from a pick-up game involving a trio of Orlando Magic stars while he was still in high school.
Speaking on his podcast, The VC Show, Vince Carter discussed the NBA potentially lowering the age limit. He shared what he picked up from playing with NBA players while still at the amateur level, stating:
(starting at the 9:40 mark)
“I got the opportunity to play pick up ball with Penny, Shaq, Nick… and you know all of these guys at that time… So I was fortunate enough to get a couple, you know, opportunities to see what the league was like.
“And I was like, bro, you know, this game is faster. It’s wide open. So it was, it fit how I played, but I just – man, Penny, I was talking about Penny in his prime. I got the man. It’s crazy.”
When asked how he fared in the runs by co-host Ros Gold-Onwude, Vince Carter added:
“The game wasn’t compact. High school, you can sit in the paint. If your team’s not good, you sit in the paint, you go to zone. NBA was wide open and faster so I’m like, man wait, I could just run, run, run and it’s wide open and just throw it up there. It was just a different game for me.”
Carter went on to have the longest career in NBA history, becoming the first player to play 22 seasons and play in four different decades.
Watch Vince Carter’s full comments below:
Vince Carter and the Hall of Fame
The 2023 Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame ballot is stacked with many first-time candidates. Legends such as Dwyane Wade, Dirk Nowitzki, Pau Gasol, and Tony Parker are included. The 2024 ballot, however, features only one Hall of Fame lock and that is Vince Carter.
Younger fans may only remember Carter for his dunking highlights, and not remember the talent he possessed in his prime. After all, he didn’t average 15 points per game once during his final ten NBA seasons and stuck around way past the prime of his career.
His prime, however, makes him a sure-fire first-ballot Hall of Famer. In addition to an eight-year stretch where he made eight All-Star appearances and averaged 24.6 points per game, Carter ranks 19th on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Revisit some of Vince Carter’s best moments below: