Vince Carter is a name that the NBA can easily recognize as he was one of the most influential stars in the league. Among all the athletes that have played in the NBA, he had the longest tenure overall. His career commenced toward the end of the 90s when he was drafted as the 5th overall pick in the 1998 NBA Draft. The Golden State Warriors selected him but traded the player to the Toronto Raptors where he flourished.
He had an outstanding start to his professional debut and won the NBA’s Rookie of the Year Award in 1999. Carter was one such player that revolutionized the game. His performances were always fast-paced and exhilarating. Vince was best known for shooting and dunking abilities. He was one of the most creative in-game dunkers.
Even though he did not win an NBA title, the future Hall of Famer won numerous other accolades including eight All-Star selections, multiple All-NBA selections, an NBA Slam Dunk Contest title, and two gold medals for representing Team USA Basketball.
Besides the Raptors, he played for the New Jersey Nets (Brooklyn Nets), Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns, Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, and finally the Atlanta Hawks. During his final few seasons, Vince Carter was utilized as a big-time mentor.
At the end of his 21st season, the was a lot of debate on when he will retire. In 2019, Carter confirmed that the 2019-20 season would be his last with one iconic dialogue that went viral. It is now famously known as the “Vince Carter Meme” amongst fans.
The Vince Carter meme originated during an interview on ESPN in 2019
Just before the end of his long career, Vince Carter already established himself as a commentator on ESPN. During one episode of The Jump featuring ex-host, Rachel Nichols, he was asked about retirement. He responded to Nichols saying, “I got one more in me.” This was the phrase that went rival years after he had retired. In 2020, his retirement season was cut short due to the unfortunate pandemic.
The meme did not go rival until 2022, almost four years after it had been said. Fans began using it as replies to various humorous posts on social media. For example, in December 2022, Jae Crowder, a well-known NBA veteran recorded zero rebounds in a game. Fans began to respond to it with the iconic one-liner. People even used it to troll the Amber Heard vs. Johnny Depp trial as well.
It is incredible how people can still stay relevant without intentionally doing something. Either way, Vince Carter will always be relevant in the hearts and minds of NBA fans across the world. Carter still spends his time as an NBA commentator on ESPN. This is a similar path that players like Shaquille O’Neal, Charles Barkley, Stephen Jackson, and Matt Barnes have also taken.