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Age isn't stopping Vince Carter from taking charges at half-court

Age isn't stopping Vince Carter from taking charges at half-court

During the first half of the Wizards' 111-101 win over the Hawks, Ish Smith received an outlet pass and began to turn up the floor before 42-year-old Vince Carter stepped up to try and draw a charge. 

Smith avoided the offensive foul with a quick behind-the-back dribble, but that didn't prevent a small collision that left Carter sliding backward on the floor. 

So as an observer of what had just happened, one could sit there and wonder, "What in the world is 42-year-old Vince Carter thinking by trying to draw a charge around half-court?"

"Just stand there and take it," Carter said. "Trust me, I've been run over by Shaq, so as he long as he doesn't hit me in my knees I'm good."

Carter plans to retire after his 22nd season in the league, an amount of time no player has stuck around for in the history of the NBA. When you watch Carter play, he's clearly not his old self, but it looks like there's plenty left in the tank. Enough for Scott Brooks to wonder why he's calling it a career after 22 years. 

"He's an NBA icon," Brooks said. "It's so hard to play one game, let alone 22 years. And coming back, the mental toughness that he has, the physical ability to stay ready and in shape, it doesn't happen often. It's not easy to make it [in the NBA], and it's even harder to stay.

"I talked to him at halftime, I said, 'Why not go for 23 years?'" Brooks said. "I think he could do it."

Carter, of course, is standing firm on his commitment to retire. 

"[Brooks] better believe it, this is it," Carter said with a laugh. "I know when I walk away, I'm always going to question if it's the wrong decision. It's like everything else, you know when it's time."

Fans just don't want to let go. You could spot plenty of Carter jerseys in the Capital One Arena crowd, every time he entered the game or touched the ball he was cheered and on both of the threes he missed you could hear how bad the entire building wanted to see the shots fall. 

There's even a contingent of the NBA fanbase who would love to see Carter participate in the All-Star festivities. More specifically, the slam dunk contest. 

"No, ma'am," he said when a female reporter asked him if he'd consider it. 

What about judging the dunk contest?

"No, ma'am," he said. "I would judge it if they let me do it via satellite or something." 

Carter is seemingly at peace with his decision and there's little the rest of us can do to sway him. In the meantime, we'll just have to enjoy however many minutes he has left. For you Wizards fans out there, the last time you'll get to see Carter in person is March 6. 

Here's to hoping for the slam dunk contest's first satellite judge.

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With Zion Williamson next, a look at NBA phenoms' first games against the Wizards

With Zion Williamson next, a look at NBA phenoms' first games against the Wizards

The Wizards are expected to get their first look at No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson on Friday night as they battle the New Orleans Pelicans at 8 p.m. on NBC Sports Washington. This should be their first glimpse of the phenom in any type of game, though they were supposed to see him last summer in Las Vegas, if you recall. Williamson hurt his knee in a previous Summer League game that was famously cancelled due to an earthquake.

There was anticipation then and there is plenty of it now, as Williamson has since become a sensation in the NBA. Though he has only played in 23 games, he has already done some extraordinary things. Williamson is averaging 22.4 points and 6.2 rebounds in just 27.9 minutes.

Against the Kings on Thursday night, Williams had 24 points on 12 shots in 21 minutes. His efficiency is not the type of stuff you see often, especially for a rookie.

And those are just the numbers. Anyone who has watched him play can attest to the unusual athletic gifts that he has.

"Explosive. Just dynamic," Wizards head coach Scott Brooks said. "His athleticism is off the charts. His second jump is as good as everybody's first jump. He's a quick jumper. He's going to be a problem. He's going to be a problem for a lot of years. It's impressive what he's done in the limited minutes that he's played here."

RELATED: BRYANT'S GAME VS. EMBIID IMPORTANT LONG TERM

Williamson may be one of a kind with his strength, first step and leaping ability, but he's just the latest in a long line of star prospects to reach the NBA level. As he gets set to face the Wizards, here is a look at how some other rookie phenoms have fared in their first games against the franchise...

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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (MIL) - Nov. 9, 1969

24 points, 16 rebounds, 4 assists, 10-22 FG, 48 minutes; Bullets won by 11

Larry Bird (BOS) - Oct. 19, 1979

12 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks, 6-14 FG, 22 minutes; Celtics won by 37

Magic Johnson (LAL) - Jan. 9, 1980

14 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, block, steal, 4-6 FG, 26 minutes; Bullets won by 2

Michael Jordan (CHI) - Oct. 26, 1984 (NBA debut)

16 points, 7 assists, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks, 2 steals, 5-16 FG, 40 minutes; Bulls won by 16

Shaquille O'Neal (ORL) - Nov. 7, 1992 

22 points, 15 rebounds, 4 blocks, 8-16 FG, 40 minutes; Magic won by 5

Allen Iverson (PHI) - March 4, 1997

18 points, 13 assists, 8 rebounds, 2 steals, 7-20 FG, 45 minutes; Bullets won by 1

Tim Duncan (SAS) - Nov. 26, 1997

18 points, 14 rebounds, 5 blocks, 5 turnovers, 9-15 FG, 41 minutes; Wizards won by 4

LeBron James (CLE) - Nov. 8, 2003

17 points, 9 assists, 8 rebounds, steal, block, 8-19 FG, 44 minutes; Cavs won by 13

Kevin Durant (SEA) - Jan. 6, 2008

19 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 7-12 FG, 35 minutes; Wizards won by 22

Derrick Rose (CHI) - Dec. 6, 2008

15 points, 8 assists, 2 steals, 6-12 FG, 37 minutes; Bulls won by 7

Blake Griffin (LAC) - March 12, 2011

26 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 2 blocks, 8-17 FG, 30 minutes; Clippers won by 21

Luka Doncic (DAL) - Nov. 6, 2018

23 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, steal, 9-16 FG, 33 minutes; Mavericks won by 19

Ja Morant (MEM) - Dec. 14, 2019

18 points, 5 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals, block, 5-11 FG, 28 minutes; Grizzlies won by 17

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76ers' Ben Simmons diagnosed with partial dislocation of the left kneecap

76ers' Ben Simmons diagnosed with partial dislocation of the left kneecap

After exiting the 76ers-Wizards matchup early Wednesday night, Ben Simmons was diagnosed with subluxation of the left patella on Thursday.

Simmons left the game during the third quarter and did not return. The injury occurred after he grabbed an offensive rebound and dribbled to the corner to pass to Al Horford in the post. Following the play, he began flexing his left leg and left for the locker room. Simmons was seen walking gingerly in street clothes minutes later.  

Before leaving the game, Simmons recorded eight points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals in 23 minutes.

Simmons’ diagnosis of a partially dislocated kneecap leaves him out indefinitely as he and the team consider treatment options. He has already been ruled out of Philadelphia’s game against the Orlando Magic on Friday. However, his MRI showed no ligament damage in the knee, which leaves him optimistic to return later in the playoffs.

His knee injury is not the only injury Simmons has had to overcome this season. He also missed the final eight games before the NBA’s hiatus with a nerve impingement in his lower back, but fully recovered before the restart began.

Playing without an All-Star player will be a challenge for Philadelphia, but the team has proven successful thus far in Orlando. The Sixers have gone 2-1 in the bubble and currently trail the Indiana Pacers by one game for the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference and are two games behind the Miami Heat for fourth. 

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