When Vince Carter was drafted in 1998, the NBA looked much, much different. Kobe Bryant was 19-years-old, the Chicago Bulls had just won the final Championship of their second three-peat, and Michael Jordan had been crowned the MVP for the last time.
Fast forward 21 years later, and the same Vince who was around for all of that is still around today. As he prepares for his record-breaking 22nd NBA season, he will do so as more of a mentor and teacher than as the star and leader he was for the Raptors and Nets during the prime of his career.
But upon reflection of Vince’s awe-inspiring tenure in the league, a fact was made known that has blown the minds of the masses.
42-year-old Vince was drafted into the league before some of his current young Hawks teammates were even born.
Trae Young, Bruno Fernando, Kevin Huerter, and Cam Reddish were all born after June of 1998 — meaning Carter’s time in the NBA surpasses the lifespan of all of them.
As far as mentors go, a guy who has been playing longer than you’ve been alive certainly has a thing or two to teach you about the game. In fact, it’s likely for that reason that the Hawks were happy to sign him for another year.
As for what comes next, nothing is a sure thing. While it seems likely Vince will finally retire, it seems like he could last maybe a few more seasons playing his current role. Only time will tell.