Vincent Lamar Carter (born January 26, 1977) is an American professional basketball player for the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association (NBA). He is 6 feet 6 inches (1.98 m) tall and plays both shooting guard and small forward. Carter is the fourth player in the NBA ever to play 21 seasons, the most in NBA history. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest dunkers of all-time.
A high school McDonald's All-American, Carter played three years at the University of North Carolina. While there, he twice reached the Final Four of the NCAA Tournament before being selected as the fifth overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft by the Golden State Warriors, who traded him to the Toronto Raptors. He won the 1999 NBA Rookie of the Year Award and won the Slam Dunk Contest at the 2000 NBA All-Star Weekend. That summer, he represented the United States in the Summer Olympics, winning a gold medal.
Carter emerged as a star in Toronto, entertaining crowds with his leaping ability and slam dunks, earning him nicknames such as "Vinsanity", "Air Canada", and "Half-Man, Half-Amazing". In December 2004, he was traded to the New Jersey Nets, where he continued to put up big numbers. In June 2009, Carter was traded to the Orlando Magic. In his first season with the Magic, he appeared in his first and so far only Conference Finals series. In December 2010, he was traded to the Phoenix Suns. He joined the defending champion Dallas Mavericks in 2011 and the Memphis Grizzlies in 2014. In 2017, he signed with the Sacramento Kings. In 2018, he signed with the Hawks.
Born in Daytona Beach, Florida, Carter attended Mainland High School in Daytona Beach. He led Mainland's basketball team to its first Class 6A state title in 56 years and was a 1995 McDonald's All-American. Carter attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, spending three seasons playing college basketball for the North Carolina Tar Heels under Dean Smith and later, Bill Guthridge. During the 1997–98 season, he was a member of new coach Guthridge's "Six Starters" system that featured Antawn Jamison, Shammond Williams, Ed Cota, Ademola Okulaja, and Makhtar N'Diaye. During his sophomore and junior seasons, Carter helped North Carolina to consecutive ACC Men's Basketball Tournament titles and Final Four appearances. He finished the 1997–98 seasons with 15.6 points per game average and was named second-team All-American, First-Team All-ACC, and to the fan's guide third-annual Coaches ACC All-Defensive Team. In May 1998, Carter declared for the 1998 NBA draft, following his classmate Jamison, who had declared earlier that spring. During his NBA career, Carter continued his coursework at North Carolina, and in August 2000, he graduated with a degree in African-American studies.
Carter was initially drafted by the Golden State Warriors with the fifth overall pick in the 1998 NBA draft. He was then traded to the Toronto Raptors for the fourth overall pick, Antawn Jamison—Carter's college teammate and a good friend. The Raptors had struggled in their first three years as a franchise. Carter was instrumental in leading the Raptors to their first ever playoff appearance in 2000 before going on to lead them to a 47-win season and their first ever playoff series win in 2001, advancing them to the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
Due to the NBA lockout, Carter's rookie season did not start until January 1999. Carter quickly became a fan favorite with a soaring offensive game that earned him the nickname "Air Canada". He won NBA Rookie of the Year Award after averaging 18.3 points and throwing down countless highlight-reel dunks. Carter ascended to full-fledged stardom in his second season – he averaged 25.7 points per game (fourth-highest in the league) and lifted Toronto to its first playoff appearance in franchise history. He subsequently earned his first NBA All-Star selection and was named to the All-NBA Third Team. During the 2000 NBA All-Star Weekend, Carter showcased arguably the most memorable Slam Dunk Contest event in its history. He won the contest by performing an array of dunks including a 360° windmill, a between the legs bounce dunk, and an "elbow in the rim" dunk (also known as a "cookie jar" dunk or the "honey dip"). Carter and his distant cousin Tracy McGrady formed a formidable one-two punch as teammates in Toronto between 1998 and 2000. However, McGrady was dealt with the Orlando Magic in August 2000, leaving Carter as the Raptors' franchise player. It is believed by some that the Raptors could have won championships if McGrady and Carter stayed together in Toronto.
8× NBA All-Star selection: 2000–07 (did not play in 2002 due to injury)
Olympic gold medal: 2000
Second Team: 2001
Third Team: 2000
NBA Slam Dunk Champion: 2000
NBA All-Rookie First Team: 1999
NBA Rookie of the Year Award: 1999
The Sporting News NBA Rookie of the Year: 1999
Twyman–Stokes Teammate of the Year Award: 2016
NBA playoff records
Most three-point field goals made in one half: 8 (May 11, 2001, vs. Philadelphia 76ers, Eastern Conference Semifinals)
Most consecutive three-point field goals made in one game: 8 (same game as above)
Most consecutive three-point field goals made in one half: 8 (same game as above)
First 40-year old player to hit at least three 3-pointers in a playoff game: 3 (April 22, 2017, vs. San Antonio Spurs, Western Conference 1st round)
New Jersey Nets franchise records
Most three-point field goals made in one game: 9 (December 11, 2006, vs. Memphis Grizzlies)
Most points scored in one season: 2,070 (2006–07)
Most consecutive 20 or more point games: 23 (2005–06)
First Net to score at least 2,000 points in a single season (2006–07)
Points: 51 (2 times)
Field goals made: 20 vs. Milwaukee January 14, 2000
Three-point field goals made: 9 vs. Memphis November 12, 2006
Free throws made: 23 vs. Miami December 23, 2005
Rebounds: 16 vs. Washington July 4, 2007
Assists: 14 vs. Milwaukee September 1, 2009
Steals: 6 (5 times)
Blocks: 6 vs. Chicago March 28, 1999
GP Games played GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
FG% Field goal percentage 3P% 3-point field goal percentage FT% Free throw percentage
RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game Bold Career high
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