Vince Carter offers inspiring guide for young basketball players
Vince Carter may no longer be the same high-flying, athletic scoring machine that he was during his prime, but he continues to achieve new milestones going on the 22nd season of his legendary NBA career.
“Vinsanity” is not only the final player in the league who played in the 1990s, but he will also become the first have played in four different decades, assuming he is signed at some point this summer.
Given his longevity in the league and the multiple twists and turns that his career has taken, it is fitting that Carter would pass on his knowledge to future generations of NBA ballers.
Carter spoke to ESPN and Kevin Arnovitz about how to survive and thrive in the league, and some of his advice may be more nuanced than you might think.
For example, Carter suggests that personal hygiene is an important part of maintenance and staying healthy over the course of a long season. He also discusses the perils of night life as an NBA player, especially for a youngster playing in a small market that is on their first road trip that makes stops in Los Angeles or New York.
But Carter also touches on the specifics and on-court frustrations that might be incurred by rookies and guys struggling to get minutes. His closing thoughts are particularly pertinent:
For the young baller, I’d say, in the beginning, tread lightly and ask questions. Utilize your veterans.
I think you win your teammates from the beginning, in pick-up games in the summer, in training camp, when you’re learning how to play this game, and how this game works. When you’re frustrated, and a vet comes to you and says, ‘Hey, try this. Look at it like this,’ Don’t, ‘Nuh uh, I got this. I got it.’
Don’t think you’re bigger than the game. Nobody is bigger than the game.
As a future Hall of Famer, NBA youngsters would be hard-pressed to find a better source of wisdom than Carter.