Vince Carter Drills Three in Perhaps His Final NBA Game

In Thursday’s Hot Clicks: The coronavirus’s impact on American sports escalated quickly.
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Is that it for Vince Carter?

The question on everyone’s mind right now is when (or if) the NBA season will resume. The question is perhaps most meaningful for Vince Carter. 

Carter, 43, is in his 22nd season in the NBA and the shocking announcement that the coronavirus had forced the NBA to suspend play may have ended that season. 

As the clock crept toward zero in the Hawks’ game against the Knicks, the fans in Atlanta were well aware of the possibility that they could be the final seconds of Carter’s career. They started chanting “we want Vince” and (with a few pushes from his teammates) Carter entered the game. 

What did VC do? Drain a three from the top of the key. 

After the final buzzer, several Knicks players exchanged hugs with Carter.

The potential gravity of the moment was not lost on Carter. In his (CDC-recommended) press conference after the game, he got choked up when discussing the possibility that those were his final seconds as an NBA player. 

If you watch the full press conference, you can get an idea of just how difficult this is for Carter. Not difficult in the sense that he’s overcome with emotion, just difficult in how uncertain everything is.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, league officials do expect the season to resume at some point but that obviously isn’t a given and it would be foolish for players like Carter to assume that. 

Vince Carter is an NBA legend. He was never the best player in the league—in fact, he only made two All-NBA teams—but his longevity makes him an all-time great. He deserves a better send-off than a sudden cancellation of games caused by a global health crisis. But if this is the end, it’s fitting that his final career basket was a jumper. Sure, the highlight reel dunks made him famous but his ability to reinvent himself kept him in the NBA until the age of 43. 

The NBA is the first domino to fall

The NBA season is officially on hold after Jazz center Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus. I hope I’m wrong but I doubt it will be the last league in North America to postpone action for a period of time over this crisis.

The league had no choice after Gobert tested positive. There’s no telling how many people he could have infected before he realized he had contracted the disease. 

The most shocking part is how nonchalantly Gobert treated the ongoing pandemic just a few days ago. On Monday, he jokingly touched every reporter’s recording device in the media room. 

Maybe it was one of those recorders that made him sick. Or maybe he passed to a dozen more people with that little joke. It’s impossible to tell, and that’s what makes it so scary.

The fallout was felt immediately. Players from both teams had to be tested for the virus at the arena and remain there for hours. Gobert’s Utah teammates weren’t allowed to leave the arena until after 1 a.m. local time. The Kings-Pelicans game was called off after it was discovered a referee who worked a Jazz game recently was scheduled to work that game. It was one of the most hectic nights in NBA history and it’s only the beginning. 

The best of SI

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