vince carter

Here's how the world reacted to news that Vince Carter is officially retiring

Beloved basketball player Vince Carter announced today that he's officially retiring from the NBA, and people in Toronto and all over the world are taking the opportunity to thank "Air Canada" for an amazing 22 years.

Carter is the only person in history to ever play in the NBA in four different decades. He built his reputation as one of the best dunkers in the world, and he just so happened to launch his career while playing for the Toronto Raptors from 1998 to 2004.

Carter, who's also known lovingly by the nicknames "Vinsanity," "Air Canada," and "Half Man, Half Amazing," announced his retirement during an episode of the Ringer's "Winging It With Vince Carter" podcast earlier today. 

"I'm officially done playing basketball professionally," he said.

Now, the world is remembering some of the highlights from his lengthy career, and it seems there are too many to count.

Early on in his career, "Vinsanity" won the 1999 NBA Rookie of the Year Award.

He also won the Slam Dunk Contest at the 2000 NBA All-Star Weekend, and many consider his performance from that event to be the best of all-time.

Basketball fans in Toronto have been taking to social media all day to share fond memories of Carter playing for the Raptors, with some even saying he's the reason they learned to love the sport as a child.

But throughout his career, Carter also played for the New Jersey Nets, Orlando MagicPhoenix SunsDallas MavericksMemphis GrizzliesSacramento Kings, and, most recently, Atlanta Hawks.

In other words, he's loved by so many from all over — and the online reactions from other NBA teams, celebrities, companies and plain old sports fans prove this to be true.

Even the other Air Canada weighed in on his retirement.

Carter's basketball career is endlessly impressive, and not just becasue he's an eight-time NBA All-Star.

Off the court, he's also known for being a big-hearted philanthropist.

The 43-year-old has won several awards recognizing his work as a child advocate, and he established the Embassy of Hope Foundation when he was first drafted into the NBA to assist children and their families in Florida, New Jersey, and Ontario.

Fans all over the world are understandably sad to see him go, but mostly they seem grateful to have been able to watch him play the game all these years. 

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver published a statement on Carter's retirement earlier today, and it manages to capture how so many are feeling in just a few short sentences.

"Vince Carter has made an indelible impact on the NBA with his remarkable skill and enduring commitment," Silver wrote.

"For a record 22 seasons, he played with pure joy and created so many memorable moments as an eight-time All-Star, a Slam Dunk champion and an Olympic gold medalist. We congratulate Vince on a storied career and thank him for being a true ambassador of the game."

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