In June of 2019, Vince Carter announced that this will be his final season. Let’s take a look at how he performed this season for the Atlanta Hawks.
The Atlanta Hawks have benefitted greatly from the veteran leadership of Vince Carter over the past two seasons. It’s sad to think that this may be it for Vince’s illustrious 22 year NBA career. However, considering the abruptness at which this season may have ended and the machine that is Vince Carter, there is certainly a possibility he could return for year 23.
Vince Carter has been nothing more than a deep bench player and a veteran locker room presence for the last six or so years of his career. And while his days of high flying dunks and All-Star games are behind him, he’s still a useful player in the NBA.
This season for the Hawks, Vince Carter averaged a mear 5.0 points, 2.1 rebounds, 0.8 assists, 0.4 blocks and 0.4 steals per game. His shooting splits weren’t very impressing either at .352/.302/.793.
Despite his minimal effect on the box score over the past few seasons, Vince has been able to space the floor very well. However, as shown through his poor shooting splits, he hasn’t been able to space the floor this season much at all.
Unfortunately, this is a major sign of decline. Vince obviously lacks the speed and quickness of younger players which makes it more difficult for him to get to his spots and leads to more highly contested three-point attempts.
However, even though Vince Carter wasn’t the most productive player on the court this season, his impact in the locker room cannot be quantified.
One example of Vince’s impact on the Hawks team is how hard Trae Young pushed for him to get into the dunk contest at this year’s All-Star weekend. It appears that even if Vince was invited, he probably would have declined, however, the relationship between Vince and Hawks young star Trae Young is clearly strong.
Another example was when Vince said this past summer that the Hawks were “shooting for the 8-seed”. This is something that a veteran like Vince brings to a young team that is super valuable. For young teams, often the focus is on individual statistics but with a veteran like Vince Carter, he is able to shift the focus of the team onto what really matters… winning.
Regardless of the fact that the Hawks were, quite frankly nowhere near the 8-seed this season doesn’t matter. The importance of winning that Vince Carter instilled in these young players will stick with them for years after he’s gone.
Let’s hope that after Vince is gone and as the Hawks continue to accumulate young talent, they will be able to take this winning attitude and transform it into real tangible success. Something the Atlanta Hawks haven’t had in a while.