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Atlanta Hawks veteran Vince Carter gets emotional as NBA postpones season, likely ending his 22-year career

Atlanta Hawks veteran Vince Carter, 43, teared up after playing what may be his final game after the NBA suspended the season due to the coronavirus.
/ Source: TODAY

This wasn't the way Vince Carter envisioned his 22-year NBA career coming to an end, but he made the most of it.

The 43-year-old Atlanta Hawks guard entered Wednesday night's game against the New York Knicks in the final seconds of overtime following the NBA's announcement that it had suspending the season "until further notice" after Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus.

In what may be the final shot of a brilliant NBA career that began in 1998, the player who has made more 3-pointers than all but five other players in NBA history nailed one last 3-pointer to draw a cheer from the crowd.

Carter got a hug from teammate Trae Young and then acknowledged the crowd after his final shot.

He reflecting on the potential end to a career he thought still had 15 games remaining in an emotional postgame press conference.

"That's something I'll always remember,'' he said. "At least I scored my last basket. It will be a weird, but cool memory. It's a weird way to say I'm calling it a career. It ended like that.

"Probably tonight I'll reflect and be like, 'Golly this is weird. I didn't foresee (this)."

Vince Carter waved to the Hawks' home crowd one last time after what may be his final NBA game in a 22-year career. John Bazemore / AP

He paused several times to gather his emotions.

"I'm appreciative,'' he said. "I do my time and then walk out the door, it's OK with me. It's cool. The game's been good."

Carter hugged Atlanta Hawks legend Dominique Wilkins as he left the court for perhaps the last time. John Bazemore / AP

It's not completely clear that this was Carter's last game, as the NBA said in its statement that it "will use this hiatus to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the coronavirus pandemic."

If this is the end for the former University of North Carolina star, he finishes his career as the No. 19 scorer in NBA history with more than 25,000 points as well as eight All-Star selections. Carter, who also won the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest in memorable fashion, played for eight teams across 22 years.