Vince Carter has player more than 1,500 NBA games since making his debut in 1999

He played against the legendary Michael Jordan and made his debut when the iPhone was just a twinkle in Steve Jobs’ eye.

And on Sunday, against the Indiana Pacers, Vince Carter, 42, became the first NBA player to have a career spanning four decades.

The Atlanta Hawks star made his debut in the ’90s (1999 to be precise), and has starred in every decade since – the noughties, 2010s and now the 2020s.

To put it into further context, 36 current NBA players – including four of his team-mates (Bruno Fernando, Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish) – were born after Carter was first drafted.

“I’m just very thankful to still be around and competing at this level,” Carter told Yahoo Sports.

“I saw a picture of one of my team-mates by the name of Hakeem Olajuwon [who is now 56] and the other was Trae [Young, who is 21] and it’s just like, man, as much as I talk to people and handshake with former friends who are now general managers, coaches, whatever they are, I can say I played against Michael Jordan and stuff like that and now I’m playing against the Trae Youngs and all the stars of today.

“I’m probably more competitive now because I know the end is near. I never imagined playing this long.

“I got to 15 years and I still felt good and here I am seven years later. It’s an unbelievable feeling.”

It’s not the first time Carter has made history.

In August, Carter became the first person to play 22nd NBA seasons after signing a one-year contract to return to the Hawks.

The decision meant he became the longest-tenured NBA player, surpassing the members of the 21-season club – Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Willis and Robert Parish.

Carter in stats

  • Played more than 1,500 NBA games
  • Eight-time NBA All-Star
  • Olympic gold medallist (2000)
  • NBA Rookie of the Year Award (1999)
  • First 40-year old player to hit at least three 3-pointers in a playoff game: 3 (April 22, 2017 vs. San Antonio Spurs, Western Conference 1st round)
  • Most three-point field goals made in one half: 8 (May 11, 2001 vs. Philadelphia 76ers, Eastern Conference semi-finals)


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