Vince Carter Will ‘Pass’ on NBA Farewell Tour as He Eyes Future in Broadcasting
The 2019-20 NBA season will mark the end of an era for basketball. Vince Carter will play his league-record 22nd campaign (and second with the Atlanta Hawks) before retiring from the Association.
But even after he hangs up his sneakers, the eight-time All-Star won’t likely stray far from the game that made him famous. He’s already gearing up for a career in broadcasting, with experience in studio analysis and color commentary under his belt. During the first full week of August, Vince added to his resume by spending time in the booth with FOX Sports at the second annual Jr. NBA Global Championship in Orlando, just over an hour’s drive from his hometown of Daytona Beach.
While he feels secure in his decision to retire, Vince isn’t wishing for some grand farewell tour. Instead, he simply looks forward to one more year of suiting up and getting time on the court alongside emerging stars like Trae Young and John Collins.
On Sunday, CloseUp360 caught up with the NBA vet by phone to talk retirement, broadcasting and how he continues to make an impact in his home community.
(The interview has been edited for clarity and length.)
Vince Carter will rejoin the Atlanta Hawks in the fall to play his NBA-record 22nd season. (Marwan Shousher/Shousher Photography)
CloseUp360: What has your experience been like so far at the Jr. NBA Global Championship in?
Vince Carter: Oh, it's been great. It's just a great opportunity to see some young talent play and to see them get the opportunity to play on FOX Sports. It's unreal competition. I think more than anything, we get to see these kids' athleticism at a young age. It's just been a great experience for us all. Obviously last year learning a ton to figure out what's what, and then this year, knowing that we're gonna see some talented teams and you just get to see kids get a chance to become stars overnight.
CU360: Was there anything like this when you were coming up?
VC: Nah, there's nothing like that. But when I was growing up, I mean, obviously AAU basketball was what it was, but it's not anything like what it is now. I mean, this is unreal. Well first of all, you didn't really get a chance to play on TV like this at this age. You had to wait until you got to the state championship or something like that, deep into your high school career, before you actually got this opportunity. So it's pretty cool.
CU360: What does it mean to make an impact so close to your hometown?
VC: It's just like second nature to me. I continue to do my basketball camps. I continue to do my charity gala and all that. So everything I do is all around the community here in either Orlando or Daytona Beach. So it's just great that I can still be around it, and still give back and young kids still know who I am. I mean, half of these kids are so young now. I came in '98 and here I am still trying to play the game that these kids love, and that I love, and doing all I can.
CU360: Congratulations on your 22nd season. What are your thoughts on retirement?
VC: I never thought I'd be playing this long, for sure. I just felt it was time. I just thought it was time. I made a decision. It's something that I want to do. And the great thing for me is that I'm able to walk away from the game on my terms.
CU360: What will you miss most about being in the league?
VC: Playing. Just playing the game, period. Like, putting on the uniform, basketball, the whole thing. You name it, I'll miss it. This is because I've been doing this for 20-plus years. So that's what I've been doing my entire life. So it's, like, even the things that you hate doing now, all of a sudden you hate you're missing it.
CU360: Any thoughts on a farewell tour?
VC: I'm good. I'll pass. It’s just not my thing. I enjoy my time in the league and so on and so forth. I know it's going to happen. It is what it is, but it's not something I'm seeking out.
Vince served as a color commentator on FOX Sports' broadcasts of this month's Jr. NBA Global Championship in Orlando, Florida. (Marwan Shousher/Shousher Photography)
CU360: As you make the transition from playing to broadcasting, how did you get into commentating?
VC: Practice. I did [the NBPA’s] Sportscaster U. [program] some time ago—six, seven years ago. And then from there, I just started doing things like this [broadcasting at the Jr. NBA Global Championship], calling games in the summer, Summer League, studio work with Turner and ESPN. It's just a lot of reps. Just like I did for basketball, you gotta play in enough games and tournaments until you get good at it. And this is the same—just a lot of reps and here I am.
CU360: What do you like most about broadcasting?
VC: Just to talk about the game now and explain the game. I get to talk about it through my eyes and kinda how I view it, and I've gotten comfortable with it. It's just fun and just something that, once I did Sportscaster U., I learned a lot and really enjoyed it. I just kinda just took off with it.