The world might have been a little different this year, but sport has been making up for it in the last few weeks. Athletes are chomping at the bit to get back out there and play their favorite sport. However, one person has stood above the rest – and he comes in the form of Vince Carter. All of his work means he has walked away with the NBA Sportsmanship Award for the year.
Nominated for the honor
Many NBA players want the honor of walking away with the Sportsmanship of Award at the end of each year, but ultimately, only one can be victorious. This year, that honor went to none other than Atlanta Hawks player Vince Carter. Each year, every NBA team is allowed to nominate just one of their players. This is to honor the player they believe represents the best sportsmanship on the court. This means 30 players are added to a list that is then whittled down to just six finalists by a team of league executives as they choose a finalist for each of the NBA’s divisions. More than 250 current players are then given a chance to vote for who they want to win.
Beating the competition
In the end, Vince Carter beat out the rest of the competition by a landslide. In fact, Carter was handed 143 first-place votes out of a possible 266. Players also vote for the position they believe each nominee should receive, meaning that Vince Carter scored a total of 2,520 in the ballots. Second place went to Garrett Temple from the Brooklyn Nets with 1,746, while Steven Adams from Oklahoma City Thunder scored third with 1,632 points. Vince Carter didn’t just win; he walked away with a huge victory thanks to his impressive sportsmanship on the court.
The end of his career
Not only did Vince Carter get to enjoy the news that he won the Sportsmanship Award, but the basketball star also announced this would be the end of his career. Carter broke the news in June 2020 after he played in a record 22 seasons. The athlete has plenty of titles under his belt already, including ranking 19th on the all-time points list with a total of 25,728. As if that wasn’t enough, Vince Carter has also played in the third-most games in the history of the NBA thanks to his 1,541 games played. To top it off, Carter is the only basketball player to ever appear in a game in four different decades. Vince Carter will be leaving behind a lot of disappointed fans and a grieving team as they say “goodbye” to the star, but he can hold his head high with all that he has achieved in that time.
Vince Carter is a force to be reckoned with on the court. Although he is retiring from the sport, Carter went out on the ultimate high as he walked away with the NBA Sportsmanship Award before he hung up his sneakers for good.