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Hawks’ Vince Carter speaks on the idea of playing inside fanless arenas

Hawks, Vince Carter

If the 2019-20 NBA season doesn’t resume, or jumps directly into the postseason, it will officially mark the end to Vince Carter’s illustrious, four-decade-spanning career. However, the Atlanta Hawks player and veteran of 22 seasons — the most in history — would still prefer to play some NBA hoops this summer, even without fans in the stands.

Carter hopped on The Grant Napear Show with Doug Christie on Saturday and was eager to express his willingness to play in empty arenas, and he believes his fellow NBA players can make the adjustment.

“I’ve been dying to answer this question” Carter said before answering Napear’s query about competing in empty gyms.

Carter opined that basketball players are frequently required to adapt to circumstance, such as defensive schemes and rule changes, and can approach fan-less games similarly. He said,

“When you toss that ball up and competition starts, and you’re in battle, how often do you worry about the fans? Yes, you hear them cheering, and booing you, I get that. But you’re in competition, you’re in battle. You should be focused on the guy in front of you, or the task at hand … With that being said, yes I could.”

The NBA is exploring all options for how to complete the season, though it’s highly unlikely that nationwide testing will be at a capacity that allows sporting events to take place in front of fans anytime soon. The NBA is considering delaying the start of the 2020-21 season.

In his last action on the court, Carter nailed a three at the end of a March 11 Hawks loss to the Knicks in what could be his final field goal.