Believe it or not, the average NBA career of a professional basketball player is only about five years. Yeah, it might be a bit shocking given all of the big names in basketball like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Kobe Bryant, and LeBron James, who all had much longer careers. But these players were exceptions, not the norm. That’s why when forty-two-year-old Vince Carter of the Atlanta Hawks suited up and stepped onto the basketball court to play against the Indiana Pacers recently, it was big news. Carter was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 1998 and has been playing in the NBA ever since—that’s four different calendar decades’ worth of professional basketball! It’s an incredible milestone, and one that no other NBA player has accomplished. To celebrate this historic moment, we’re sharing some interesting facts about Vince Carter:
1. He was drafted by the Golden State Warriors in 1998 but traded to the Toronto Raptors. In 1999, he was named Rookie of the Year.
2. Carter has played over 1,500 NBA games.
3. He’s one of the only players who can claim that he played against fifty-six-year old Michael Jordan, as well as against players half his age.
4. He won an Olympic gold medal in 2000 when Team USA beat France in the Summer Olympics.
5. Carter has three nicknames: “Vinsanity,” “Air Canada,” and “Half-Man, Half-Amazing.” His nicknames all stem from his amazing leaping ability and incredible dunks!
Who’s your favorite NBA player and why? What is his signature move? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts!