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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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On this date in tournament history: Chris Webber calls timeout

On this date in tournament history: Chris Webber calls timeout

The Michigan Wolverines were down two points to the North Carolina Tar Heels with 19 seconds to play in regulation in the second half of the 1993 NCAA National Championship game.

After grabbing the rebound off the missed free throw attempt, Michigan star Chris Webber (23 points, 11 rebounds) established his pivot foot, re-angling his body towards the basket, locked in a one-possession game with the championship on the line. 

Webber attempted to dish the ball off to a teammate, but after seeing a lurking Tar Heel, the future No. 1 pick continued his dribble towards halfcourt. 

The travel call was missed by the officiating staff, but not by the broadcast crew.

"Oh, he walked," Bill Packer exclaimed on the broadcast. "He walked and the referee missed it!"

CBS announcer Jim Nance continued on with the gameplay, as only 12 seconds remained on the clock in regulation.

"Webber brings it into the frontcourt," Nantz said. "They have no timeouts remaining."

If only someone had told him.

Webber, trapped in the left corner by a UNC double-team, signaled for time, resulting in a technical foul shot for the Tar Heels as well as possession.

"He called a timeout," Nantz said. "Michigan doesn't have any!"

At the opposing foul line, UNC's Donald Williams (25 points) knocked down both free throws, increasing their lead to four points with 11 seconds remaining. 

From there it was all over.

North Carolina 77, Michigan 71.

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On this date in tournament history: Emeka Okafor leads UConn over Georgia Tech to win national championship

On this date in tournament history: Emeka Okafor leads UConn over Georgia Tech to win national championship

Before he departed on a very successful NBA career, former Wizards center Emeka Okafor was a standout member of the UConn Huskies.

In 2004 the Huskies went on to win their final nine games of the season before they captured the Big East championship.

After making their way through the NCAA Tournament bracket, the only team standing in coach Jim Calhoun's way were the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, lead by future Wizards guard Will Bynum (17 points, five assists).

Georgia Tech didn't back down early, taking a 12-11 lead over the Huskies with 13:41 to go in the first half. 

Okafor (24 points, 15 rebounds) scored to give UConn the lead right back, and they never trailed again.

At halftime, the Huskies lead the Yellow Jackets by a staggering 15 points and they kept their foot on the gas to start the second half.

The Huskies were able to extend their lead to 25 during the second half before Bynum at Georgia Tech came roaring back, but by then, the game was out of reach.

UConn emerged with an 82-73 victory over the Yellow Jackets, led by Okafor and future NBA journeyman Ben Gordon (21 points).

Okafor was named the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player.

UConn's women's basketball team would go on to win its national championship a day later against the Tennessee Volunteers.

Connecticut became the first school ever in Division I to win NCAA titles in men's and women's basketball in the same season. 

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