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Nets to retire Vince Carter’s No. 15 jersey at Barclays Center next season

The Nets will honor one of their best players in franchise history next season by raising Vince Carter’s No. 15 jersey into the rafters at Barclays Center, the team announced on Wednesday.

Carter’s jersey retirement, which many have been anticipating for years, was teased on Brooklyn’s social media accounts Tuesday in the form of a 14-second audio clip from his game-winning 3-pointer against the Toronto Raptors on Jan. 8, 2006. He finished that game with 42 points. He once said that shot against the Raptors was one of the greatest moments of his career.

Carter, a former fifth overall pick out of North Carolina in 1998, wound up playing an NBA-record 22 seasons with Toronto, New Jersey, Orlando, Phoenix, Dallas, Memphis, Sacramento and Atlanta. He was voted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2024 in April.

“It’s pretty dope, man, because it’s forever up there,” Carter said in a short video shared on the Nets’ social media accounts on Wednesday. It’s Nets [No.] 15, Carter. Can’t use it again. Doesn’t get any better than that.”

Carter’s jersey will be hung in the rafters next to Jason Kidd’s, another Hall of Famer who he shared a backcourt with for four seasons in New Jersey. Kidd’s No. 5 jersey was retired at Barclays Center on Oct. 17, 2013.

“I think about coming into the league, trying to be the best player you can be,” Carter said. “And then you go through a trade, and you get a new life. Especially playing with Jason Kidd, who is a Hall of Famer, legend, up in the stands as well.

“And I heard a story from Gary Sussman talking about how J Kidd, after I hit that shot in Toronto, he felt that I was a guy he can trust. And he would jump in the foxhole against anybody at any time. So, for me to get that opportunity again to be a part of the franchise, to be a go-to guy was a breath of fresh air. And it was fun to play with that guy because he made the game easy for me as well.”

Carter, 47, currently serves as a basketball analyst for YES Network. Known by the nickname “Vinsanity” because of his generational athleticism, he averaged 23.6 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.7 assists per game during his stint with the Nets from 2004-09 while shooting 44.7% from the field and 37% from 3-point range.

The 6-6 guard finished his career as an eight-time All-Star and was named to an All-NBA team twice. He won NBA Rookie of the Year in 1999 and retired with 25,728 career points, which ranks 21st all-time in NBA history.

“Congratulations on having your number retired next to my No. 5,” said Kidd, who currently serves as head coach of the Mavericks. “We got 5 and 15. You made the game so easy, maybe too easy. But again, congratulations. You’ve had an incredible career. I think you played for 40 years, somewhere around there. Well deserved, but understanding you were one of my best teammates in New Jersey and, again, made the game easy. You made me look good, so thank you, congratulations.”


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