Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter had a conversation at the Atlanta Hawks’ practice facility one day before Kobe’s last game. The conversation touched on many different things, including their relationships with Jerry West and Michael Jordan, what it means to be an MVP of multiple championships, how much Bryant loved playing basketball in his final season in the NBA.
Vince Carter recently spoke about his last conversation with Kobe Bryant. Vince stated that “All These Championships He Won, MVPS, 81. He Was At His Happiest In Retirement.”
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During the 2000s, Kobe Bryant and Vince Carter were two of the most popular players in the NBA. Both Bryant and Carter were seen as explosive scorers with the potential to become the NBA’s faces. However, the two athletes’ careers took quite different paths.
Bryant spent 20 years with the same organization, earning five NBA championships and cementing his reputation as the greatest Los Angeles Lakers player of all time. Carter, on the other hand, never realized his full potential and never won an NBA title. Carter, on the other hand, may take pride in the fact that he has played in the NBA for 23 years, making him one of the most tenured players in the league’s history.
Even before joining the NBA, Kobe and Carter had a good friendship. The two were teammates on the 1994 New Jersey Patterson, the finest AAU team in history. In 1996, Kobe joined the league, while Carter joined in 1998. Throughout their NBA careers, Carter and Kobe had a tight friendship.
Carter disclosed the details of their final communication after Bryant’s sad death in 2020. It happened after a Nets-Hawks game in 2019, Carter’s last NBA season, just weeks before Kobe’s death. At the time, Carter and Kobe were also preparing to work together during Carter’s retirement.
After a Nets-Hawks game two years ago, Kobe and Vince had one final talk.
Vince had organized a get-together with the two of them to assist him with his retirement. The week before he died, Kobe was supposed to conduct an interview for Vince’s documentary. They had a strong competitive relationship from their teenage years, having played AAU together (on the most powerful AAU team of all time). There were few players with whom Kobe had a deep mutual regard, and Vince was one of them. They both had a genuine passion for the game, which they displayed in their own distinct ways. The game’s true legends.
Despite his amazing career in the NBA, Carter believes Kobe is happiest in retirement. Kobe inquired about Carter’s feelings about being so close to retirement. And before exchanging a hug farewell, the two planned Carter’s retirement together, promising they will get in contact about it.
“After the game, I had a chat in New Jersey. ‘How was it?’ I inquired. ‘I’m pleased,’ he replied. I’m content. ‘This is the happiest I’ve ever been.’ He was at his happiest in retirement, with all these titles, MVPs, and the age of 81. He inquired as to whether I was prepared. I’m always switching my mind about it. And he’s like, “I’m enjoying it,” he’s calm. We’ll speak about it when we connect, he said. For me, this was new territory, and who better to ask than someone who’d been doing it for 20 years and knew what to expect. The last thing we spoke about was how we were going to do all we could to take care of our girls to the best of our ability. And it was our last talk before hugging and saying, ‘Love you brother, see you soon.’
Carter was one of Bryant’s longest NBA pals, and the two were quite close. So it’s no wonder that Vince Carter was one of the people who was most impacted by the news of Bryant’s death. It was news that no one in the NBA wanted to hear, and Carter was among those who were disappointed.
Carter’s career came to an end that season, when the Lakers, Kobe’s club, won the 2020 NBA championship, paying honor to Bryant’s legacy by doing so.
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Vince Carter retired from the NBA in 2015. He was a member of the Toronto Raptors, Dallas Mavericks, Orlando Magic, and Memphis Grizzlies during his career. In an interview with ESPN’s Rachel Nichols about Kobe Bryant’s retirement, he said “All these championships he won, MVPs, 81. He was at his happiest in retirement.” Reference: what team did vince carter retire from.
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