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Hawks’ Vince Carter embraces responsibility as mentor to Trae Young, John Collins

Vince Carter, Trae Young, John Collins

Atlanta Hawks forward Vince Carter is in the midst of his 21st season in the NBA, so he has seen a thing or two. The 42-year-old is the league’s oldest player, tasked with the unique job of playing alongside one of the league’s youngest teams, headlined by the franchise’s star duo of Trae Young and John Collins.

Carter, averaging 16.7 minutes per game, has impacted the team in ways beyond just playing time, embracing his mentor role, per Robby Kalland of UPROXX’s Dime Magazine:

“For Trae, he’s one of the faces of this franchise along with John Collins, so there’s more responsibility,” Carter told Dime. “Having to answer questions whether you play a good game or a bad game, or we win or we lose. There’s a lot of things that come with wanting to be, ‘The Man’ of a franchise. I’ve been there for a lot of years, so I’ve seen a lot. So I’m just trying to share my wisdom, both in conversation and on the court, because I feel like in the world today you have to do a little more than just have a conversation. I like to lead by example and by showing the young guys the way.”

Collins, 21, is in his second year in the league and averaging 19.9 points and 9.8 rebounds per contest across 50 games. Atlanta nabbed him with the 19th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, and he is already on his way up to a potential All-Star berth next season.

Young, 20, has had a dynamic rookie campaign in 2018-19 after having been selected with the fifth overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft and flipped to Atlanta. Averaging 18.3 points and 7.8 assists per contest, he has put himself firmly in contention for the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award, having started all 69 games this season.