Vince Carter looks on at the Olympic Games Sydney 2000 on Sept. 23, 2000 in Sydney.
Over three memorable seconds, Vince Carter stole a pass, dribbled twice and leapt over France’s 7-foot-2 center Frédéric Weis for one of the most famous dunks in basketball history.
It was one of many high-flying dunks Carter, a 6-foot-6 shooting guard from Daytona Beach, Florida, threw down during a career that officially ended Thursday following 22 NBA seasons and an Olympic gold medal with Team USA at those Sydney Games in 2000.
“I’m officially done playing basketball professionally,” Carter, 43, confirmed in a podcast hosted by the Ringer.
The end marked a quiet conclusion to one of the sport’s most exciting careers.
Drafted out of North Carolina in 1998, Carter took the NBA by storm, winning the league’s Rookie of the Year honors that year with the Toronto Raptors and generating buzz with his highlight-worthy dunks.
Following his second NBA season, Carter made his lone U.S. Olympic Team, and in Sydney he led all U.S. players — a group that included, among others, Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Alonzo Mourning — with 14.8 points per game. He scored 13 points, tying for the team lead, in an 85-75 win over France in the gold-medal game.
Carter was best known for his long NBA career, though, one that saw him transition from the flashy young star to the dependable veteran off the bench over his more than two decades in the league with eight different teams.
During that time Carter was selected for eight All-Star Games while averaging 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game. Over his first 11 seasons, however, Carter averaged 23.5 points per game.
Carter’s retirement was not unexpected. He had hinted that could be the case in March, after the NBA suspended its season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His announcement this week comes following the determination that his team, the Atlanta Hawks, will not be included when the NBA season resumes in Orlando.