When Vince Carter checked in at the 6:30 mark of the Atlanta Hawks' game against the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, he officially became the first player in NBA history to play in four different decades.
According to ESPN, "36 players who have played at least one minute in the NBA this season were born after Carter made his NBA debut," including current teammate Trae Young, who is half his age.
The 42-year-old future Hall of Famer also passed the record 21-season tenures of Dirk Nowitzki, Kevin Garnett, Kevin Willis, and Robert Parish in the league.
And just like his fellow basketball iron men, Vince has quite a legendary mixtape of all-time plays — with some milestones, naturally, more symbolic than others.
1990s - Rookie Vince
The Toronto Raptors somewhat lucked out on the decorated North Carolina Tar Heel, whom the Warriors took fifth overall in the 1998 draft but was swapped for his college teammate and fourth selection Antawn Jamison. Carter also came after top pick Michael Olowakandi (Clippers), Mike Bibby (Grizzlies), and Raef LaFrentz (Nuggets).
Air Canada joined the Raps on the tail end of the '90s, so aside from his messianic arrival and sneak peek to his high-wire act, his biggest achievement has to be his scoring jump, which improved from 18.3 in his rookie season to 25.7 points.
2000s - Dunkman Vince
The 2000s made up the bulk of Carter's long list of NBA accolades, mostly as a member of the New Jersey Nets. This was when Vinsanity hit its stride, particularly when he led the Nets to three straight playoff appearances from 2005 to 2007. In this span, he won all of his eight All-Star selections, two All-NBA team inclusions, and the award that typified his NBA career, the Slam Dunk title.
He averaged 20+ points per game in all but the 2009-10 season with the Orlando Magic, which he helped reach the Eastern Conference Finals — his best finish in the postseason. His most memorable moment, however, came during the 2008 Summer Olympics, when the Team USA member essentially ended the basketball career of Frenchman Frederic Weis with the "Dunk of Death."
2010s - Journeyman Vince
The past decade saw the Half-Man, Half-Amazing go from a contender's mercenary to respected locker room presence. After less than a season and a half, the Magic traded him to Phoenix, where he normed 13.5 markers in 51 games. He reunited with New Jersey teammate Jason Kidd in Dallas (2011-14), and produced what we think is his greatest clutch moment against the Spurs:
Carter went on to usher the end of the Grit and Grind Era in Memphis (from 2014 to 2017), before spending a lone campaign with the Kings. He signed — then re-signed — with the Hawks for the final chapter of his storied run, rewriting history books as the first player to play in his 22nd season.
2020 - Old Man Vince
Take a bow, VC.