Veteran guard Vince Carter has officially announced his retirement. Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran NBA forward Vince Carter has officially announced his retirement from basketball, confirming and discussing the decision on the latest episode of his Winging It podcast with Annie Finberg.

“I’m officially done playing basketball professionally,” Carter said.

Carter’s career came to a slightly earlier-than-expected end when the NBA was forced to suspend its season on March 11 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Hawks still had 15 games left at that point, but they won’t be part of the resumption of the season in Orlando this summer.

Atlanta’s last game of 2019-20 against the Knicks was still in progress when the NBA announced the suspension of the season. Recognizing that it might be the Hawks’ – and Carter’s – last game, head coach Lloyd Pierce had the 43-year-old check in with just 19 seconds left in overtime — he knocked down a three-pointer on the last shot of his career before time expired.

The fifth-overall pick in the 1998 draft, Carter spent his first six-and-half NBA seasons in Toronto, emerging as a star and helping lead the Raptors to the first three playoff appearances in franchise history, including their first postseason series win in 2001. He earned the nickname “Air Canada” during those years and played a large role in growing basketball’s popularity in the country, contributing in part to the influx of Canadian players we’ve seen enter the NBA in recent years.

Carter played his next four-and-a-half seasons in New Jersey with the Nets, then began bouncing around the league with a little more frequency, spending time with the Magic, Suns, Mavericks, Grizzlies, Kings and Hawks before retiring this year following his record-setting 22nd NBA season.

For his career, the former UNC standout averaged 16.7 PPG, 4.3 RPG, and 3.1 APG in 1,541 regular season games (30.1 MPG). He also appeared in another 88 postseason contests, averaging 18.1 PPG.

A two-time All-NBA selection and an eight-time All-Star, the veteran swingman also won the NBA’s Rookie of the Year award in 1999 and the Slam Dunk Contest in 2000. He earned a gold medal with Team USA at the 2000 Sydney Olympics, memorably dunking over French center Frederic Weis during those games.

Carter never won a championship, but didn’t prioritize chasing a ring during his final few NBA seasons, opting instead to join young teams like the Kings and Hawks, where he could play regular minutes and impart veteran wisdom upon those clubs’ up-and-coming prospects.

The Hawks issued a statement Thursday congratulating Carter on his retirement and thanking him for the time he spent with the organization, calling it an “honor” to the franchise that “he completed his Hall-of-Fame career wearing Atlanta across his chest and representing our city.”

This article first appeared on Hoops Rumors and was syndicated with permission.

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Can you name the winners of every NBA Slam Dunk Contest?

The contest was not held in 1998 and 1999.

2020 / MIA / SF
Derrick Jones Jr.
2019 / OKC / SG
Hamidou Diallo
2018 / UTAH / SG
Donovan Mitchell
2017 / IND / SF
Glenn Robinson III
2016 / MIN / SG
Zach LaVine
2015 / MIN / SG
Zach LaVine
2014 / WAS / PG
John Wall
2013 / TOR / SG
Terrence Ross
2012 / UTA / SF
Jeremy Evans
2011 / LAC / PF
Blake Griffin
2010 / NYK / PG
Nate Robinson
2009 / NYK / PG
Nate Robinson
2008 / ORL / C
Dwight Howard
2007 / BOS / SF
Gerald Green
2006 / NYK / PG
Nate Robinson
2005 / ATL / PF
Josh Smith
2004 / IND / SG
Fred Jones
2003 / GSW / SG
Jason Richardson
2002 / GSW / SG
Jason Richardson
2001 / SEA / SF
Desmond Mason
2000 / TOR / SG
Vince Carter
1997 / LAL / SG
Kobe Bryant
1996 / LAC / SG
Brent Barry
1995 / MIA / SG
Harold Miner
1994 / MIN / SG
Isaiah Rider
1993 / MIA / SG
Harold Miner
1992 / PHX / SF
Cedric Ceballos
1991 / BOS / PG
Dee Brown
1990 / ATL / SF
Dominique Wilkins
1989 / NYK / SF
Kenny Walker
1988 / CHI / SG
Michael Jordan
1987 / CHI / SG
Michael Jordan
1986 / ATL / PG
Spud Webb
1985 / ATL / SF
Dominique Wilkins
1984 / PHX / PF
Larry Nance

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