At 42 years old, Vince Carter is defying norms in a sport filled with the greatest athletes in the world.
Much has been made recently of Tom Brady competing at an elite level at age 40. He looks as sharp as ever and lead his team to yet another Superbowl title. A comparison of greatness may be unfair, but in terms of athletic feats, he has stiff competition from a 40 plus NBA star in Vince Carter.
Debatably, the NBA has the top athletes in the world. The majority of the players are 20-somethings that are in the physical primes of their lives. Vince Carter has been there. During the peak years of his athleticism, he had a multi-year run of what may have been the greatest in-game dunks ever. His legendary athleticism paired with deadly long ball made him a lethal offensive threat.
Despite playing at 42 years old, Carter is still holding his own. He has bounced around a bit these last several years, providing a valuable veteran presence for young teams. His scoring numbers are actually up this year from the last few as he provides a spark off the bench for the Atlanta Hawks. And yes, somehow, he is still throwing down dunks.
With players younger than Carter like Dwyane Wade and Dirk Nowitzki singing their swan song this season, he is singing a different tune. In a discussion with ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption, Carter said that he would like to keep playing. That would be his 22nd season.
As a mentor and a shooter, there will certainly be a market for Carter’s services as long as he is willing to play. Whether it is another year with the Hawks, an old team like the Nets or Raptors, or a different destination, it will still be fun to see Carter keep lacing up to compete.
He says that he has been taking things one year at a time, assessing how he feels at the conclusion of each season. It does sound like he is prepared to play until at least age 43 though. With Wade and Nowitzki getting honorary All-Star nods this year, we could surely expect the same treatment for Vinsanity at All-Star 2020. That would be the 20 year anniversary of his legendary All-Star Slam Dunk Contest, so that would be pretty legit.
Playing basketball at a professional level is more difficult than many realize. It requires dedication and true passion to play as long as VC has. If he enjoys the grind enough to keep playing and he can get paid good money to do it, this is a great move for Carter as well as basketball fans.
We are lucky to still be seeing Vince Carter in action and look forward to watching him for at least one more season! For more on everything basketball, keep it locked here with The Basketball Movement.