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Vince Carter explains transition into a role player

Vince Carter, Hawks

Longtime veteran Vince Carter has made a seamless transformation from being the face of the Toronto Raptors; a star for several franchises, to a role player with a purpose — leaving a lasting imprint in every team he’s played with.

Vinsanity is no longer the high-flying, air-defying freakish athlete that once wowed viewers around the world with his airborne antics, but has now settled as a mentoring presence in his last three stints in the league, as his playing time dwindled.

The 41-year-old explained just how he transitioned into a role player during the last few years of his career.

“I mean, it’s right there in front of you. It’s not a guessing game. It’s more so, can you accept it? And can you prepare yourself for the next phase?,” Carter told Rohan Nadkarni of Sports Illustrated. “I was able to do that. And on the flip side, me personally, I have no fear of not having something to do when I’m finished playing. So, to make sure that doesn’t happen, I started years ago with broadcasting, networking, just talking to people with my different interests and passions. Making it happen, making it come to life. It’s really worked out for me.”

Carter notably got his degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill well after he embarked in his NBA career, an effort which will likely paved the way for his future after basketball.

“The NBA and the players’ association has done a great job of opening avenues for life after basketball,” said Carter. “For us as players sometimes, it’s tough to consider it because you’re so engaged and locked in your career. That opportunity, like you said, to be a 20-point scorer. But it quickly changes. There are a lot of guys who don’t have to worry about that. Even if I’m still a 20-point scorer, at some point it comes to an end. I want to make sure I prepare for phase two.”

Carter put up 20 or more points during 10 straight seasons, starting with his second in Toronto, as he showed that he was more than a finisher at the rim, but a deadly threat from beyond the arc, burying 40 percent or more of his shots from deep for two straight seasons, including four times in his career.

Half-man, Half-amazing will be playing for his eighth team after signing with the Atlanta Hawks, as he enters his 21st season, matching draftmate Dirk Nowitzki, who will also play out his last NBA campaign in 2018-19.