Storyline: Vince Carter Retirement?

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Carter told Fox Sports Southeast that he is still ready to play in the 2019-20 NBA season. He also added that he is remaining hopeful that a team will express interest in his service next season. “It’s something that I want to do,” Carter said of playing one more season. “I could still give it another year, and hopefully there’s a team out there that wants my service. I’m going to prepare as if I am coming back, and we’ll go from there. I do want to play another year.”
3 months ago via ESPN

Atlanta Hawks forward Vince Carter, 42, said he wants to return for a 22nd NBA season if teams are interested in him this offseason. When asked during an appearance Thursday on ESPN’s Pardon The Interruption if he had an age in mind for when he wanted to retire, Carter said, “43.” “I think I could stretch it out one more,” he said. “At the end of the year, I usually assess from top to bottom to see how I’m feeling. And, obviously, opportunity — when the phone call rings and teams show interest, that’s a good thing.”

The Hawks’ road trip has been right down Carter’s memory lane. They played Tuesday in Toronto, where he began his career and has repaired his relationship with fans that was damaged when he pushed for the trade that landed him in New Jersey. “It’s a great trip. Stressful sometimes, a lot of people to see, but the appreciation I’m very thankful for and I’ll never forget it,” Carter said. “And like I said, the video, yes it could be premature, or not. It’s still, they’re thinking about me and I’m very thankful for that.”

Why keep putting himself through what he called “the long checklist” required to keep him on the floor when he could take the many millons he’s made and go put his tired feet up somewhere? “For some weird reason, I still don’t have an answer for it,” said Carter, who’s averaging roughly 18 minutes per game for the Hawks this season. “I wanted to play 15 years. Some of the greatest played 12 to 14. Taking care of my body has allowed me to play six more years or so. I don’t know when the end is going to happen. After every year, I see how I’m feeling and then go from there. When you go through the season, people keep saying to me, ‘Keep your phone handy, we’re interested.’ It’s hard to say, ‘I’m not going to play anymore.’ I could be 47 before that happens.”

Atlanta, home to Turner Broadcasting and NBA TV, is the right place to be, but Carter isn’t quite ready to announce his retirement. “I know playing this game that the media and the fans and people can be cruel,” he said with a grin. “It’s like, `You’re old and you’re playing against guys half your age. You shouldn’t be out here.’ But then for me that is my goal, to prove that I’m able to do that. And I put in a lot of work in mentally as well as physically just preparing myself.”

Carter says the once-dynamic dunker, a live highlight reel of a player known as “Vinsanity,” still lives inside him. It’s just different now that he’s been a reserve in stops the last six seasons with Dallas, Memphis and Sacramento. “Yeah, I’m still the same person,” said Carter, the 1999 NBA Rookie of the Year and an eight-time All-Star. “My approach is still the same. My work ethic, my ability to play the game is still the same. Obviously it’s limited. You just don’t get to see it as much, but it’s the same guy.”

Vince Carter to play another season

Vince Carter: I plan on coming back next season. I plan on coming back one more season. I’m almost 90 percent sure that’s it after next season. … You kind of go through the season, especially when the end is near and you say, ‘Hey, how do I feel?’ The summertime kind of dictates it all. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the most important time for the older guys in the league like myself and [Dallas Mavericks star] Dirk [Nowitzki] and I think all the other guys, I could say [San Antonio Spurs forward] Pau [Gasol], then could say that preparing for the season in the summer is probably the hardest thing to do when you’re approaching the last years. I always said I’ll walk away from the game when I’m not willing to put the work in to be prepared for the season. I wouldn’t disrespect the game like that.

Vince Carter: Is Sacramento a possibility? Or how am I looking at free agency. I don’t know. I stay in my lane. I know how it will work and I know teams are going to do what they do, go through the draft, make their trades and cuts and whatnot. Then it’s my time. I just have to wait. I get it. You know what I’m saying? So, I just have to be patient. I have to make sure that I’m prepared to go. And then go from there. It’s just all about timing and what’s the right decision or what makes sense. I’m sure there will be a lot of teams that’ll make moves and have spots available and are going to need something from a guy. Hopefully that I can bring to the table. Yeah, I’ll be ready.

Carter will be a free agent this summer. “I said to myself ‘I want to play 15 years’. I don’t know where I got that from. And the I got to 15 years and I kept going. I never capped it, but at the same time I’ve had a lot of players remind me of things I’ve said,” said Carter about how he kept telling fellow players he would retire after two more years. “I’m still saying ‘two more years and I’m done.’

Vince Carter not retiring

Playing 20 seasons became the goal once he blasted through his initial goal of 15 after being drafted fifth overall in 1998, but he’s not necessarily looking to stop on a number that only five other NBA players have reached. “It scares me. I cannot put myself on the other side of the fence. I can’t put me out of the NBA yet,” Carter told The Vertical. “We’re just going to go for it, until the doors close and there are no more opportunities. That’s kind of where I am. If 21 [seasons] were available, the old guy will still be around.”

“I’m still standing. I’m still competing, playing at this level, doing what I need to do to still be here. I still have a burning desire to compete and be around,” Carter told The Vertical. “I don’t expect anything. I’m going to work for it, like I’ve done my entire career. I’m going to prove that I deserve to play the minutes that I’m playing. I’m going to prove to you that I deserve to still be in this league. That’s kind of been my drive. Humbling myself and staying hungry for the opportunity to still be around. That’s what it is. I don’t come in like, ‘You know what I’ve done? I deserve to be here.’ Nah, I don’t see it that way.”

“That’s what you’re here for. That was the goal, Day One. One day I’m going to get that chance. I still say that today. One day, I’m going to get that chance. I think it’s just all about opportunity. If it’s meant to be, it’ll happen – whether I’m here next year, or somewhere else that’s a contender. I’m not saying, ‘OK, I need to be here for it to happen.’ Because it’s not guaranteed anywhere,” Carter told The Vertical. “Your life has already been planned out the way it’s supposed to go and we’re just putting the pieces together that have been put together. So yes, that is the ultimate goal. I would love to hold up that trophy. I would love to be in that situation. Not at the expense of … and I could fill in the blanks with a lot of things. I won’t sell my soul. Wherever that is, or with whoever it is, I will be prepared to do whatever it takes to help that team.”
3 years ago via ESPN

But Carter has rebounded to be a major asset off the Memphis bench this season. He is putting up 10.4 points per game on 47.7 percent shooting and providing the Grizzlies some savvy playmaking and even a defensive weapon against some of the better wings they’ve faced. “It’s not easy,” Carter said. “It may look easy out there on the court, but it’s not easy. … The game has come easy for me for a long time. When it got a little tougher, I put a little more work in. It’s made me better. Being at this age, still playing at this level is just amazing.”

So as tantalizing and improbable as the possibility seemed of a 40-year-old strolling into the NBA’s biggest weekend and turning back the clock—it ain’t happening. But as long as Vince Cater is still a productive member of the Memphis Grizzlies rotation, he isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. “I just worry about the now, play it by ear. At this point, when you’re this old,” Carter laughs, “I just think let’s see how I feel at the end of the year and go from there.”

Vince Carter isn’t ready to walk away from the NBA, he told reporters in a video tweeted by NBA TV. Carter, 39, could be headed toward free agency after his Grizzlies were swept out of the playoffs by the Spurs this afternoon. He is under contract with Memphis for next season and is slated to make $4,264,057, but only $2MM of that is guaranteed. Carter averaged 6.6 points per night this year in 60 games with the Grizzlies, all but three of them as a reserve. “When I don’t feel like training or lose the passion and love for the game, then it’s time to walk away,” Carter said in a postgame press conference. “I still have it. It still bothers me to lose games and not play well.”

Vince Carter: When it’s that time, I won’t disrespect the game. I will not. That’s when you get hurt, when you’re doing it for the money. At this point, we’re not doing it for the money. We’re doing it because we love it. The money’s good, of course, and you want to get paid for what you bring to the table. But once you pass 15 years, you’re doing it for love of the game. And when I don’t love the game enough to do all of that, it’s time to say goodbye.

Carter scored a season-high 19 points and five of his teammates also reached double figures to help the Memphis Grizzlies cruise to a 112-95 victory over Los Angeles. ”It’s hard to even imagine not playing anymore, because I still love playing,” said Carter, who turned 39 last month. ”I still have that burning desire. And whenever the body says it’s time, then it’s time to move on. I don’t ever want to disrespect the game and go out there just to play and take the money, because it’s not that.

Carter and a vastly different Memphis lineup than the one the league was seeing even three games ago, are in town to take on the Raptors tonight and Carter is giving no indication that fans will be witnessing his Toronto swan song. “Not now, not yet,” Carter said when asked if he goes into a game like todays thinking this might be his last time on this particular court. “I just go year by year and listen to the body. Every now and then I’ll think about ‘When I do know (it’s time), how do I approach that?’ It’s just tough accepting it because I enjoy playing still. I think when I don’t enjoy playing I will definitely let it be known.”

Vince Carter not ready to retire

Bryant announced that he is retiring after this season. Carter, who in his 18th NBA season, plans to play next season and beyond. “For sure,” Carter said. “Did I say I was retiring? I’m very thankful for (the recognition on the road). Don’t get me wrong. But I plan on coming back. I just go year to year at this point. I don’t put a timetable on it. I don’t want to say two years and then everybody says ‘Well this is it, right?’ But 20 years would be cool.”
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June 17, 2019 | 2:17 am EDT Update
“I think for us, there is nothing more that we can do. We’ve done it. The city has done it. This franchise had done it. The coaches have done it. My teammates have done it. We’ve done our job. The best way to recruit somebody is to just be yourself over the course of the year, and I would assume that he knows what is here and what makes this place special,” VanVleet said at the team’s first media availability since winning the NBA title. “If it’s enough than it’s enough. If it’s not then it’s not. … We would all love for him to be back and if he’s not then we will move on from there. It’s not the biggest deal in the world. He came here and did what he was supposed to do. So he brought this city a championship and I think he has earned his freedom and his career to do what he wants to do and we’ll all respect him and admire him.”
3 hours ago via ESPN