Beloved basketball player Vince Carter announced today that he’s officially retiring from the NBA, and people in Toronto and all over the world are taking the opportunity to thank “Air Canada” for an amazing 22 years.
Carter is the only person in history to ever play in the NBA in four different decades. He built his reputation as one of the best dunkers in the world, and he just so happened to launch his career while playing for the Toronto Raptors from 1998 to 2004.
— NBA (@NBA) June 25, 2020
Carter, who’s also known lovingly by the nicknames “Vinsanity,” “Air Canada,” and “Half Man, Half Amazing,” announced his retirement during an episode of the Ringer’s “Winging It With Vince Carter” podcast earlier today.
“I’m officially done playing basketball professionally,” he said.
Now, the world is remembering some of the highlights from his lengthy career, and it seems there are too many to count.
Vince Carter’s career:
-25,728 points (19th all time)
-2,290 3 pointers (6th all time)
-8x All Star
-2x All NBA
-Dunk Contest champ
-only player to play in 4 different decades
Half Man, Half Amazing. pic.twitter.com/3z3AMl4Wgi
— ethan (@okcfanethan) June 25, 2020
Early on in his career, “Vinsanity” won the 1999 NBA Rookie of the Year Award.
— Zach Geddes (@zgedds44) June 25, 2020
— nicholas (@nickdiaz289) June 25, 2020
Basketball fans in Toronto have been taking to social media all day to share fond memories of Carter playing for the Raptors, with some even saying he’s the reason they learned to love the sport as a child.
Half Man, Half Amazing. Forever Air Canada.
The reason I fell in love with basketball and the @raptors as a child.
Thank You, Vince Carter. #15 pic.twitter.com/nkZyit56tI
— Jimmy Jr. Sobejana (@theJJman97) June 25, 2020
Vince Carter’s legacy will always be enshrined in Toronto.
Still Air Canada. Still Vinsanity.
Still the greatest dunker of all time. pic.twitter.com/RzTO0wYcf6
— Raptors Film Room (@RaptorFilmRoom) June 25, 2020
In other words, he’s loved by so many from all over — and the online reactions from other NBA teams, celebrities, companies and plain old sports fans prove this to be true.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) June 25, 2020
Even the other Air Canada weighed in on his retirement.
We’ve both got wings, love to fly, and go by the name #AirCanada. You will be missed @mrvincecarter15. #HappyRetirement
Comme nous, vous avez des ailes, vous aimez voler, et on vous appelle #AirCanada. Vous allez nous manquer @mrvincecarter15. #BonneRetraite https://t.co/xfnBx8vQFk
— Air Canada (@AirCanada) June 25, 2020
Carter’s basketball career is endlessly impressive, and not just becasue he’s an eight-time NBA All-Star.
Vince Carter retires as one of five players in NBA history to score more than 25,000 points, grab more than 5,000 rebounds, dish out more than 4,000 assists and make more than 500 made 3-pointers.
The other four are:
Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Paul Pierce and LeBron James.
— Tommy Beer (@TommyBeer) June 25, 2020
Off the court, he’s also known for being a big-hearted philanthropist.
The 43-year-old has won several awards recognizing his work as a child advocate, and he established the Embassy of Hope Foundation when he was first drafted into the NBA to assist children and their families in Florida, New Jersey, and Ontario.
Fans all over the world are understandably sad to see him go, but mostly they seem grateful to have been able to watch him play the game all these years.
The best in game dunker I have ever seen in my life. This mix was amazing but they left some of his best ones out. Baseline vs Indiana might be the best dunk ever. Vince Carter, the man whose dunks were so violent they were a thing of beauty. Thank you. pic.twitter.com/fcx0JNZDjT
— BEAN 🏁🏁🏁 (@MGRADS) June 25, 2020
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver published a statement on Carter’s retirement earlier today, and it manages to capture how so many are feeling in just a few short sentences.
“Vince Carter has made an indelible impact on the NBA with his remarkable skill and enduring commitment,” Silver wrote.
“For a record 22 seasons, he played with pure joy and created so many memorable moments as an eight-time All-Star, a Slam Dunk champion and an Olympic gold medalist. We congratulate Vince on a storied career and thank him for being a true ambassador of the game.”