Vinsanity feels like the only surefire inductee who will be part of the Hall of Fame’s Class of 2024. Vince Carter has an unassailable resume, especially when considering his longevity and the indelible memories he left on a generation of NBA fans.
It feels like just yesterday when Carter was hooping. Many fans may not even remember a day from their childhood without Carter taking the court. It’s still bewildering to think that his 22-year career ended on the same day the NBA suspended the 2019-20 season due to the pandemic.
Longevity alone makes a compelling case for Carter. He’s the only player in the history of the league to appear in games in four separate decades. Unsurprisingly, the counting stats look good: he’s one of six in NBA history with at least 24,000 points, 6,000 rebounds, 2,500 assists, 1,000 steals. and 1,000 3-point field goals made.
Obviously, that longevity means Carter was no scrub. He made eight All-Star teams and placed on an All-NBA squad twice. He’s the holder of several Toronto Raptors franchise records, the first of eight teams he played for.
Carter earned two gold medals for Team USA, including one at the Summer Olympics in 2000. That was the tournament featuring Carter’s acrobatic game-changer, a dunk over the 7-foot-2 Frenchman Frederic Weis.
He’s arguably the greatest dunker in the history of the game. His 2000 Slam Dunk Contest performance will outlive us all. That’s the competition that featured a 360-degree windmill, a between-the-legs bounce dunk and a dunk where Carter got his elbow in the rim.
After one of those dunks, Carter famously signaled that it was all over. The same could be said about his Hall of Fame candidacy – Vince Carter’s wait should be over before it gets past the first year.