Vince Carter honored by ‘unreal’ induction into Basketball Hall of Fame

High-flying Vince Carter is flying straight into the Hall of Fame.

The Nets legend was announced Saturday as among 13 inductees into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame for the Class of 2024.

While the announcement came in Glendale, Ariz. at the men’s basketball Final Four, Carter found out days ago, a call that was life-changing.

“Well first of all, when I got the call, I had to go outside just to make sure I got some fresh air just in case I needed some,” Carter said on ESPN2. “But it’s just the journey in general, you know? You play 22 years, there’s a lot of moments that has happened that has been very influential and close to my heart. But it’s just going through the process all of these years.

“You start from high school and you just have that dream of making it to the NBA. When you get to the NBA, you have the dream of, for me, winning the dunk contest or being in the dunk contest and playing as long as possible. Then after that, once you retire you start to hear Hall of Fame, Hall of Fame. For me, personally, I was just like ‘Oh, I’m not sure, but it’d be great to be considered.’ And not only was I considered, I got the opportunity to actually step through those doors. It’s unreal.”

Vince Carter speaks during a news conference for The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame at the NCAA college basketball Tournament on Saturday, April 6, 2024, in Phoenix. AP

Carter, who told The Post he’d never actually been inside the Hall of Fame before, will get to step through those doors and be enshrined on Aug. 16-17 along with a Class of 2024 that includes Chauncey Billups.

He’ll join former Nets teammate Jason Kidd and his cousin, Tracy McGrady, in receiving the highest honor that the sport can give.

“Like Chauncey and everyone’s gonna say, this is truly an honor,” Carter told the Final Four media at a Saturday press conference in Arizona. “You grow up and you just develop a love for the game of basketball. You want to be the best version of yourself each and every day, whether it’s on or off the court.

Vince Carter was known for his dunking ability. New York Post

“I have so many heroes that have been on the stage and get to be here, and I have a family member in Tracy McGrady who’s a Hall of Famer. So, to watch it, to hear about it, to hear your friends saying: ‘Oh, you deserve to be in it.’ It’s all well and good until you get that phone call. Like everyone here, the reality is it’s better than you can imagine, and it’s just an honor to be a part of this class.”

Renowned for his high-flying dunks that earned him the nickname “Vinsanity,” Carter was an eight-time All-Star in his 22 seasons from 1998-2020.

He’s still the only NBA player in history to play in four different decades.

Carter — who has broadcast several Brooklyn games for YES Network this year — holds the Nets’ single-season franchise scoring record, as well as the Toronto Raptors’ mark.

Vince Carter was a star on the Nets with Jason Kidd. New York Post

Of his 25,728 career points, 8,834 of them came in a New Jersey uniform spread over five seasons.

He was an ironman, missing only 11 games in those five seasons and the Nets losing all of them.

For Carter, this has been an emotional capstone on his career.

Vince Carter, left, and Chauncey Billups shake hands during a news conference for The Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame at the NCAA college basketball Tournament on Saturday, April 6, 2024, in Phoenix. AP

“For me, it’s emotional because I have a great appreciation for it,” said Carter. “And I think that’s where the emotions come from me, because yes, I played the game and I’ve had [people say] ‘Oh, of course you are.’ But you know, until you receive that call, the reality is what was bliss for me. I was like, okay, it is real. OK and now you’re here. But I just needed to hear it for me to believe it, I think.

“And my appreciation for the Hall of Fame, my cousin, watching T-Mac get in, I was like the proud cousin in 2017. It just made me proud, and my heart was beating at that time. So for a very long time, some of the friends that I’ve seen go in and that I played against are in there.

“And I was like wow, what an honor for the elite that are in there. I get a chance to be a part of that. I mean, unreal.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *