Scheduled to return for the 2016-2017 season, his 19th with the NBA, 39-year old Vince Carter of the Memphis Grizzlies has declared his intention to shoot for a 20th, meaning fans will see him in action for at least the next two years.
“I just love to play,” said Carter. “It’s not out of me yet. When I don’t want to play and don’t want to put the work in, that’s when I step away from the game, but right now I still love it.”
Carter’s declaration comes on the heels of Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan’s high-profile retirements last season and has reignited speculation that a return to his original team, the Toronto Raptors, may be in the cards following the end of his current contract with the Grizzlies this season.
Carter has been playing with the Memphis Grizzlies since 2014, and averaging a respectable 13 minutes per game. Last year, when the Grizzlies made the playoffs, Carter’s performance was recognized with the NBA’s “Teammate of the Year” award – despite the team not progressing to the semis.
Long known for his gravity-defying moves, Carter went down in Olympic history as part of the 2000 US National Team when he executed a dunk over the 7-foot-2-inch French Frédéric Weis of France. It was a highlight of the Sydney 2000 competition, with the US team fighting tooth and nail to eventually claim the Gold.
While it remains to be seen whether or not Carter will go out with the splash that Bryant did, he’s definitely drawn a line in the sand. With a two-year countdown set to start with the opening of the 2016-2017 season, Father Time’s going to have his hands full trying keep this high flyer grounded.