Vince Carter was a superstar, one of the most entertaining players to ever enter the NBA. His highlight-reel dunks and explosive scoring made him must-watch TV, especially in his early years with the Toronto Raptors. However, another thing that made Carter so impressive was his longevity, he made a league appearance in 4 different decades.
During the latter part of his career, Carter was no longer playing at a superstar level and it was around the time the transition was happening when he joined the Dallas Mavericks in 2011. Carter started the first season, but then Dallas coach Rick Carlisle revealed in 2020 that Carter unselfishly asked him if he could become the sixth-man on the team (via Complex).
“The first year in Dallas, he started and was one of our leading scorers. After Jason Terry left, Vince came to me before the start of his second year here and asked if he could have the honor and privilege of being the sixth-man.
"He was just a high character team person. He was a giver. He was a dependable scorer, a playmaker, an underrated defender, a really good rebounder, and an absolute winner. He left such a strong, long-lasting positive impression on everybody in the organization."
Carter averaged 13.4 points the next season playing just 25 minutes a night and was a great piece for the Mavericks till his departure in 2014. He would go on to play for 6 more seasons in the NBA off the bench, finally retiring from the league in 2020. His unselfish play and veteran experience helped several teams, including the Atlanta Hawks, where he played alongside emerging superstar Trae Young.
In a league where a lot of top players make such a fuss about coming off the bench, the fact that Vince Carter viewed it as an honor and asked to do it makes him unique. His dedication to helping the team he was on in the best way he could is surely a major factor that contributed to his amazing longevity and legacy in the NBA.