Vince Carter is set to break an all-time record by becoming the first NBA player to play in 22 seasons. After considering retirement during the summer, the veteran opted to come back for another year. According to NBA, the Atlanta Hawks re-signed Carter to a one-year deal for the 2019-20 season.
Rumors had linked him with multiple contenders, as well as a return to his former team the Toronto Raptors, but Carter will resume his stint as a member of the Hawks. Although he had kept his options open in the offseason, the Hawks made the most sense for him from a playing standpoint. Not only did he average 17.5 minutes per game in 2018-19, but he was also a valuable mentor for younger players on the court.
As the end of his storied run approaches, it appears that Carter will finish his career without a championship. The eight-time NBA All-Star has been criticized by some fans for signing with lottery teams over contenders. However, Carter has always been vocal about his intent to play basketball for the love of the game instead of being the ultimate ring-chaser. Given his age, many top teams in the NBA had questioned whether Carter could contribute at a high level in the postseason.
We have re-signed Vince Carter.#TrueToAtlanta
— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) September 20, 2019
At this stage of his career, Carter hasn’t shown interest in chasing a championship while being a bench warmer. Every now and then, a vintage performance stuns viewers to remind them of his prime years. Despite playing at an advanced age, the highlight reels make it all worthwhile for Carter. When it comes to fans of the Atlanta Hawks, they appreciate the former star’s willingness to accept his role, play hard, and lead by example.
Earlier this summer, former NBA star Gilbert Arenas mentioned that Carter’s return would be taking away a spot from a younger player, as per Bleacher Report.
“When you’re the last guy on the bench or the guy who got cut, you look at someone like and say, ‘Come on, dude.’ There’s no upside for Vince. Let somebody else get in there and be the next Vince Carter,” said Arenas, regarding certain players being overlooked due to veterans like Carter. “Vince should be on the bench as a coach or in the office giving his input.”
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, there was mutual interest between both sides, as the Hawks had been saving a roster spot for Carter, and they have now reached an agreement.