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Atlanta Hawks

Atlanta Hawks forward Vince Carter opens up about possibility of having played his final NBA game

If Vince Carter has played his last game in the NBA, he's at peace with it.

"Who knows how the season ends and navigates," the eight-time All-Star said on Winging It With Vince Carter. "But regardless, I'm one with either result or either way this ends up.

"If that was the last game, that was the last shot, I made my last shot and I'm cool with it, and I feel good about my career and how things ended. If not and the season continues, it continues.

"In my mind I'm approaching it as the season is over. I get a lot of people tweeting me, talking about how they hope it's not my last game and I appreciate that, but for me, I'm just trying to attack like I've done before. The season is probably over and if it isn't, it's like, 'Hey, surprise! You get a bonus three, five, 10, whatever they going to choose for us to play.'"

Carter played in one of the final games before the NBA season was suspended. He logged 12 minutes off the bench in Atlanta's overtime loss to the New York Knicks, scoring five points on 2-for-5 shooting from the field.

Three of those points came in the final seconds of overtime.

Carter described that moment and what led up to it on the podcast. He said he found out about Utah Jazz centre Rudy Gobert testing positive for the coronavirus by Hawks head coach Lloyd Pierce ahead of the third quarter. Although he knew the NBA season would be suspended as soon as he heard the news, Carter said that he didn't start to think about it potentially being the last game of his career until Dewayne Dedmon mentioned it to him on the bench.

That set the stage for an emotional ending, as Carter entered the game for one last time with 19.0 seconds remaining in overtime.

His focus in those final seconds? Get a shot off.

"I hadn't been shooting the ball well, in my opinion, all year, but when it came down to a shot that I needed to make, it was like second nature and I've done it before. Trae [Young] throws the ball, I take my one-two step and just shoot it like I've been playing the whole game.

"It's giving me chills right now, actually. It was a chilling moment to see it go in. At first I was like, 'The season is going to go back in.' But at the same time, 'just in case it doesn't, you might want to try and make this.'"

If Carter has played his final game, he will retire with career averages of 16.7 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.0 steals per game. He ranks 22nd on the NBA's all-time scoring list.

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