The last few years have seen a lot of headlines about Vince Carter, both for remarkable on–the–court performances past 40 and for ventures into game analysis, podcasting, and guest appearances on studio shows and podcasts. Now, it looks like Carter (who officially retired in June after 22 seasons in the NBA, announcing that move on his Ringer podcast) will be heading into the sports media space full time. Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reported Monday that Carter is set to take on a full-time NBA analyst role with ESPN:
Vinsanity is coming to ESPN full-time, The Post has learned.
Future Hall of Famer Vince Carter is joining ESPN as an analyst, according to sources. Carter, 43, has long had designs on becoming an analyst and was looked upon as a top broadcasting free agent once he finished playing.
…With the big names, the desire to work at the job is important. Carter minored in communications. He has gone through the Players Association’s “SportsCaster U” camp. He has done TV and radio, which has included previous work for ESPN and Turner. For Fox Sports, he even called the Jr. NBA Global Championship, a competition featuring 13-and-14-year-olds.
As Marchand notes in there, he spoke with Carter last July about Carter’s preparations for a TV role, and Carter had a good line there about what he intends to bring as an analyst:
“I wouldn’t go (the) Stephen A. (Smith) route,” Carter said, bringing up the omnipresent, outspoken ESPN personality. “I wouldn’t go the quiet route. … I want to explain the game where you are watching it and say: Ah, that makes sense.”
We’ll see what that actually looks like in practice, but it’s notable to hear a potential broadcaster discuss being analytical rather than bombastic. And some of Carter’s guest appearances to this point have reinforced that, such as his comments on Shaquille O’Neal on The Jump in June 2018, which got into the technical side of facing O’Neal more than the various largely-subjective debates about how great specific players were:
It will be interesting to see how ESPN decides to utilize Carter across its various NBA studio shows and game broadcasts. But he certainly feels like a good fit for an NBA commentary role, whether during games or in the studio, and he’s definitely been working towards that. And it’s notable to see ESPN pick up an in-demand analyst like Carter even during a bit of a financial crunch. We’ll see how he does there.