Vince Carter felt he belong in the NBA after winning Rookie of the Year, beating Michael Jordan in All-Star voting
With veteran wing Vince Carter entering his would-be NBA record-breaking 22nd season in 2019-20, the 42-year-old member of the Atlanta Hawks is beginning to feel wistful upon reflecting on his stories professional career.
Carter agreed to re-sign with the Hawks in August and reportedly intends to retire following the forthcoming season.
Carter spoke to Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports on Monday and mentioned various experiences in a league he’s spent more years in than the rest of his life prior to his fifth overall selection at the 1998 draft.
Here’s Carter remembering moments he felt like he belonged in the NBA, via Yahoo Sports:
It’s two and a half moments. Obviously, winning the Rookie of the Year [in 1999], I felt like I belong here. I think Paul [Pierce] and Jason Williams were playing at a high level as well, so for me to beat out those guys — I think I played very well in the second part of my season, which kind of gave me a chance.
Winning the dunk contest gave me a world of confidence, but alongside that dunk contest, being the leading vote-getter for a few years in a row. … The first time winning [the vote], I’m like, “Man, I’m over Kobe Bryant, over Kevin Garnett, over T-Mac.” We’re talking about a lot of players who could be the leading vote-getter and were staples in the All-Star game, and I was able to win three years in a row.
In Michael Jordan’s last year, I was the leading vote-getter, and I was just like, Wow. We always knew he was going to start. I didn’t have a shadow of a doubt. I gave up my position. That was crazy for me. My friends and I talk about that. They’re like, “Do you understand that you had more votes than Michael Jordan in his last year?” And it’s kind of hard to believe. That’s one of the ones where I’m like, You know what? I must be OK.
Carter is an eight-time All-Star and former Rookie of the Year winner who will play his second—and last, apparently—season with the Hawks come the fall.