Vince Carter becomes first player to play in NBA over four decades

·Sports Writer
ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 4: Vince Carter #15 of the Atlanta Hawks looks on during the first quarter of a game against the Indiana Pacers at State Farm Arena on January 4, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)
Vince Carter of the Atlanta Hawks (Credit: Getty Images)

The Atlanta Hawks beat the Indiana Pacers 116-111 on Sunday night in a game that could easily have gone under the radar amid other headlines.

But when Vince Carter took to the court he became the first player to make NBA appearances across four decades – when he made his debut in the league Bill Clinton the President of the United States.

Currently playing in his 22nd NBA season (the only player to reach the landmark), the 42-year-old was picked back in the 20th century in the first round (fifth overall) in the 1998 NBA draft by the Golden State Warriors before being immediately traded to the Toronto Raptors, making his debut later in the season in January 1999.

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Since then, the shooting guard has racked up 1,481 games in the league and been named an NBA All Star in eight seasons, as well winning a gold medal with the USA at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

On Sunday, four of his team-mates – Bruno Fernando, Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish – were born after Carter was drafted.

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His career has taken him across the league, landing in Dallas, Orlando and Memphis among others, before being signed by the Hawks at the beginning of the season.

Speaking to Yahoo Sports, Carter said: "I saw a picture of one of my team-mates by the name of Hakeem Olajuwon [who is now 56] and the other was Trae [Young, who is 21] and it's just like, man, as much as I talk to people and handshake with former friends who are now general managers, coaches, whatever they are, I can say I played against Michael Jordan and stuff like that and now I'm playing against the Trae Youngs and all the stars of today.

"I'm probably more competitive now because I know the end is near. I never imagined playing this long.

"I got to 15 years and I still felt good and here I am seven years later. It's an unbelievable feeling."

Carter’s career:

Toronto Raptors, 1998-2004

New Jersey Nets, 2004-2009

Orlando Magic, 2009-2010

Phoenix Suns, 2010-2011

Dallas Mavericks, 2011-2014

Memphis Grizzlies, 2014-2017

Sacramento Kings, 2017-2019

Atlanta Hawks, 2019-present

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