A win for longevity: Vince Carter passes Larry Bird on all-time scoring list

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Last night a 36-year-old Vince Carter channeled the version of himself from 12 years ago (if that younger self was a better three-point shooter) and dominated the key stretch of the Mavericks win over the Kings. Carter scored 17 points in the third quarter with a barrage of threes, going 5-of-7 from deep in the period. Carter finished with 26 points on the night.

And during that barrage Carter moved past Larry Bird to move into 29th place on the NBA’s all-time scoring list. Carter now has 21,796 points for his career.

This is a tribute to longevity — Bird was a better player than Carter but he played a couple fewer seasons than Carter (and Bird’s last seasons he didn’t play as much as he battled back injuries).

But Carter, for all his flaws, could always score the rock. First as an explosive dunking machine that spawned “Vinsanity” and now as a role player who can still have some big nights (he’s got a PER of 21 this season).

We need to give Carter a nod for that, he’s been a good player in this league for a long time. And this is a sign of that.