Vince Carter Reveals How Kobe Bryant Helped Him Prepare for Retirement

Orel Dizon
2 Min Read

Since the untimely passing of Kobe Bryant, several players have come out to share their stories about the Los Angeles Lakers legend.

Among those whose lives were impacted by Bryant was Vince Carter.

Carter recently appeared on the All the Smoke podcast where he was asked by hosts Matt Barnes and Stephen Jackson to share some memories he had with Bryant.

The 43-year-old recounted that earlier in the season, he was not prepared to hang his shoes just yet. But after having a conversation with Bryant about retirement, he had a change of perspective.

“He looked at life different,” Carter said about his good friend. “He was just, all he wanted to do was for his kids, and he enjoyed coaching, and that helped me in my transition in preparing for retirement. Because in the beginning of the year, the couple games in the beginning of the year, I couldn’t say ‘retirement.’ Because I wasn’t ready to accept it.

“We had that conversation and I’m like, if one of the dudes who was one of the best to do it, and just eat, sleep and live, winning, and he can be at peace now, I can say ‘retirement.’ Because it’s going to be okay.”

Carter has been playing in the NBA for 22 seasons, the most among all players in league history. He was drafted fifth overall by the Toronto Raptors in 1998, two years after Bryant entered the league.

He announced last June that he would be retiring by the end of the season. It is not known, however, if he has already played his last game after the season was abruptly put to a stop because of the coronavirus pandemic.

If so, it seems Carter is already at peace with it, thanks in part to the late Bryant.

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