The athlete — known for his dunking skills — played his last NBA game in March before the league suspended the season due to coronavirus

By Lindsay Kimble
June 25, 2020 12:06 PM
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Vince Carter's time in the NBA has come to an end.

On the latest episode of  The Ringer's Winging It With Vince Carter podcast, the 43-year-old said he's officially retiring.

"I'm officially done playing basketball professionally," Carter, who spent 22 seasons in the league, said.

The athlete — known for his dunking skills — previously announced he would retire at the end of 2019-2020 season. His season was cut short when the league suspended play in March due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

He hit a three-pointer in the waning seconds of the Hawks’ 136-131 loss to the New York Knicks — now his last game, as the team is out of playoff contention — just as the NBA began the hiatus in the wake of Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert’s coronavirus diagnosis.

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“It’s just weird,” Carter told reporters after the game. “As we were being briefed on everything … I’m sitting there, like, ‘All right, this is it. Like that. It ended like that.’ Probably tonight, I’ll reflect, like, ‘Golly, this is weird, man.’ ”

Mark Brown/Getty

Carter continued, "If there was any disappointment because of the season -- any of that -- it was kind of easier to put it aside and handle it that way. It's like, OK, it's something bigger than my career. ... It's unfortunate, but with the coronavirus taking people's lives rapidly, that's the big picture in my mind."

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"So I was able to put the weird ending -- the abrupt stoppage of play, to an ending -- aside for the bigger picture."

Carter — the first NBA player to ever play in four decades — was selected by the Toronto Raptors in the 1998 NBA Draft. He played with eight teams throughout his career.

His last team, the Hawks, paid tribute to him on Twitter, writing, "Thank you, Vince ❤️."