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Vince Carter Wants To Return For A Record-Setting 22nd Season In The NBA

Vince Carter Wants To Return For A Record-Setting 22nd Season In The NBA

Longevity in the NBA is exceedingly rare. This is true for a number of reasons. For starters, it’s reserved for only the most elite players on the planet, the top one percent. Then, even if you do make it to the league, there’s no guarantee you’ll stay there.

Injuries, lack of opportunities, declining skill sets, apathy, atrophy, all of these forces are working against you. Which is why it’s so astonishing to see a guy like Vince Carter, who at the age of 41 (he’ll turn 42 later this month) is currently playing in his 21st NBA season.

Better yet, he has no plans to retire anytime soon. Carter may have lost a step or two over the years, but he’s still able to give his current team, the Atlanta Hawks, quality minutes off the bench and, perhaps more important, offer mentoring for the younger guys on the roster.

So as long as he’s still capable of both those things, he doesn’t see why he should consider calling it quits just yet, even though he said before the season that he was “ninety-something percent sure” this would be his last ride. Via Andrew Joe Potter of The Score:

“We’ll see what happens at the end of the year,” Carter told reporters prior to the Atlanta Hawks’ road game against the Toronto Raptors, according to TSN’s Josh Lewenberg. “I feel good … I’ll weigh my options when it’s done. I’d like to come back and play.”

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“I try to imagine myself saying, ‘This is it,’” he added. “And I can’t imagine it right now … I honestly don’t know.”

Carter reached a major milestone in his career earlier this season when he reached 25,000 points, quite fittingly on a two-handed jam against his former team the Toronto Raptors. And if he does return next season, he’ll keep adding to the record books.

Carter is one of only five players — including Kevin Garnett, Kevin Willis, Dirk Nowitzki, and Robert Parish — to play 21 seasons in the NBA. If he does, in fact, return next season, he’ll have the record for the longest NBA career of all-time. It’s a testament to health, good fortune, and a passion for the game that has defined an illustrious career spanning more than two decades.