Vincent Lamar Carter was born January 26, 1977 in Daytona Beach, Florida. He played college basketball at North Carolina, and was drafted in 1998 as the fifth pick in the first round. He played for the Toronto Raptors from 1998 to 2004. In 1999 he was named Rookie of the Year. Carter quickly became a fan sensation, primarily for his spectacular dunks, earning him nicknames like "Vinsanity" or "Air Canada." Carter and fellow shooting guard/small forward Tracy McGrady helped the Raptors to their first playoff appearance in 2000. McGrady left the Raptors after 2000, leaving Vince to carry the franchise. That same year, Vince won the Slam Dunk contest, and won a gold medal in the 2000 Olympic games in Sydney with the United States Men's Basketball team. During a game against France, Vince pulled off one of his most memorable dunks, when he dunked on 7ft 2in center Frederic Weis. French media labeled the dunk "le dunk de la mort," French for "the dunk of death."
In 2004, feeling severely distraught about the upper-management of the Raptors, Vince was traded to the New Jersey Nets. When he returned to Toronto for his first game as a Net, he was booed heavily. Aided by point guard Jason Kidd, Vince put up impressive numbers, averaging over 20 points per game every season. The Nets were in consistent playoff contention, but never reached the NBA Finals. In 2009, Vince was traded to the Orlando Magic. With the Magic, Vince was able to reach his first his first Conference Finals, which the Magic lost to the Boston Celtics.
In 2010, Carter was traded to the Phoenix Suns. With the Suns, Carter became the 37th player to score 20,000 points. In 2011, Vince was traded to the Dallas Mavericks, where he reunited with his former Nets teammate Jason Kidd. In 2014, Carter hit a clutch 3 pointer to give the Mavs a 2-1 series lead in round one over the eventual Finals champions, the San Antonio Spurs. The Mavs lost to the Spurs in 7 games, proving to be their stiffest challenge on the road to a championship. In the offseason, Carter's contract with the Mavs expired, and he became a free agent. He went on to sign a multi-year deal with the Memphis Grizzlies. As he progressed into his 30's, Carter did well to adapt his game, and became relied on for veteran presence and off-the-bench scoring instead of high-flying dunks. Following his stint with Memphis, Carter signed a one-year deal with the Sacramento Kings.
Vince Carter played his final seasons in the NBA for the Atlanta Hawks. He signed with the team in the 2018 offseason and went on to play two seasons for them before officially retiring months after the 2019-2020 NBA season was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time of his retirement, Carter ranked third in all-time games played at 1,523. Having starting his career in the 1990's, and ended it in the 2020's, Vince Carter is the only player in NBA history to participate in a game in four different decades.