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On a night where the 8-28 Atlanta Hawks served an upset to the 22-14 Indiana Pacers, Vince Carter was the center of attention. Carter made history on becoming the first NBA player to play in four different decades.
For the latter part of his career, many questioned if Carter would make the Basketball Hall of Fame and if so, is he first ballet. This should solidify his place as a first ballet Hall of Famer.
In his 22 seasons in the NBA, Carter has averaged 16.9 points per game. That might not look Hall of Famish but if you factor in he’s going to retire as the oldest player to ever play in the league, then his numbers might make sense.
From 1998-2011, Carter averaged 22.2 points with a high point of 27.6 in 2000-01 for the Toronto Raptors and 27.5 in 2006-07 with the New Jersey Nets. He’s also been to the playoffs 11 times in his career.
What stats doesn’t show is he turned a young Raptors’ franchise into a contender in the Eastern Conference. After winning Rookie of the Year, he led the Raptors to their first playoff appearance in only the franchise’s fifth year in existence in 2000.
When Carter came into the league, the Michael Jordan era was ending and a new wave of players and style was incorporated. His showmanship, including winning the Dunk Contest in 2000, had an affect on a lot of then current players and players that are in the league right now including LeBron James who’s said Carter was his favorite player growing up.
The eight-time All-Star has been what the NBA has been lacking these last 10-12 years, that veteran presence.
Playing for the Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings and now the Hawks, he’s done more than just mold players on the court. Carter has taken the approach of showing young players how to carry themselves off the court, how to be men and how to represent not only the team but also the NBA.
If the Basketball Hall of Fame only required stats, then you might have a case on why he shouldn’t be first ballet but since the Hall looks at their affect on the game, longevity and character, then this milestone he’s reached has solidified him as a first ballet Hall of Famer.