Vince Carter says he plans on returning for the 2017-18 season and doesn’t see retirement in his future right now, according to Real GM. At 40 years old, Carter is the oldest active player in the NBA and still provided valuable minutes for the Memphis Grizzlies as a rotation player throughout the year.
“I said to myself, ‘I want to play 15 years,’” Carter said. “I don’t know where I got that from. And the I got to 15 years and I kept going. I never capped it, but at the same time I've had a lot of players remind me of things I’ve said. I’m still saying, ‘Two more years and I'm done.’”
Carter used to feel awful by the time seasons ended when he was younger, but says he “could play three more rounds” this year. The Memphis Grizzlies were eliminated in six games by the San Antonio Spurs. This season, Carter averaged 25 minutes in 73 games with eight points and 38 percent shooting on threes.
Though Carter will be a free agent this summer, he said he feels comfortable with this team.
“I hear people say all the time, ‘Go chase the ring.’ That word ‘chase’ is tough for me,” Carter told reporters at exit interviews. “I’m comfortable here, my family is comfortable here, we’re building something exciting and great and I enjoy going to work with these guys every day.”
Carter is one of just two players left from the 1998 NBA draft class, the other being Dirk Nowitzki, who has also committed to playing his 20th season. Though Paul Pierce has retired, Manu Ginobili and Jason Terry could both join Carter as 40-year-olds in the league if they return next season.
Kevin Willis played five NBA games at 44 years old, so Carter would need to play several more seasons before he breaks any types of records like that.