When a 21-year-old Vince Carter joined the NBA in 1998 as an athletic wonder, the Toronto Raptors knew they were getting a great player.
Little did they know that VC would play a record-breaking 22 years and the third-most games (1,541). Only Robert Parish (1,611) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,560) logged more NBA appearances.
Vinsanity changed his game and role many times to contribute on NBA rosters.
He initially predicated his game off explosive athleticism and showmanship dunks, gracing our television screens with SportsCenter highlights on a nightly basis as a leading scorer.
When his extraterrestrial athleticism crashed back to Earth, Carter worked on his three-point shooting, morphing himself into a dead-eye sniper from the corner as a secondary threat. He got so proficient that he drained all eight of his shots in this 2017 contest.
Though he never won an NBA title thanks to some bad timing, Carter stayed in the Association as a mentor and played his last game on March 11, 2020. He subbed in for the Atlanta Hawks and resolutely drained a trey during his swan song.
When all was said and done, Air Canada had played for eight teams and scored 25,728 points, nailed 2,290 threes and 941 jams. He also amassed eight All-Star nods, an Olympic Gold Medal and the 1998-99 Rookie of the Year Award.
The craziest stat might be that he played with or against 40 percent of NBA players who ever graced the hardwood.
Expect to see Carter in Springfield very soon.
Bob Bajek is an award-winning investigative journalist and TBW staff writer who has extensive experience in news and sportswriting for various outlets including Bleacher Report, The Chicago Tribune and Pro Football Weekly. He firmly believes Drake spread the Gospel of Steph before his official coming… and fans need to forgive the Warriors after providing free tacos for four NBA Finals.