The Atlanta Hawks’ Cam Reddish wasn’t alive when teammate Vince Carter played in his first NBA game in 1999. Atlanta’s Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and Bruno Fernando weren’t yet six months old when Carter scored 16 points in his NBA debut nearly 21 years ago.
Carter on Tuesday played in his 1,500th NBA game, joining John Stockton, Dirk Nowitzki, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Robert Parish as the only players in league history to reach that milestone.
It is a testament not only to rare longevity but his talent and ability to adjust to different roles throughout his career – from lottery pick to rookie of the year to All-Star to All-NBA to reserve to veteran sage who is playing less than half the minutes he did at the peak of his NBA powers.
“Basically, he was the first option, second option, third option, sixth man, seventh man, all the way down to 14th, 15th guy," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said before the game, "and most guys are not emotionally stable enough to be able handle that and be willing to sacrifice and Vince has done that."