Hawks’ Carter aims to be available for every game

NBA

NEW YORK — Being the first NBA player to play in four different decades is not a lofty enough goal for Atlanta Hawks veteran Vince Carter.

After dropping 17 points in the Hawks’ 100-96 win over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden, Carter said that he aims to appear in every game this season.

“I want to make sure I am available for every game,” Carter told ESPN. “Obviously, it is Coach’s decision, but I want to keep my body right so I can do that.”

Carter is already on his way, having played at least 13 minutes in all four of Atlanta’s preseason games. On Wednesday night in New York, Carter was 6-of-11 from the field and his 27-foot jumper gave the Hawks the lead for the remainder of the game.

Carter made five 3-pointers against the Knicks, while the rest of Atlanta’s players combined for five 3-pointers total.

Carter, 42, hasn’t played in all 82 games of a season since 2006-07. The only player age 40 or older to do so is John Stockton.

In order for Carter to achieve his goal, he will have to take meticulous care of his body. Carter said that “we don’t have time” to cover all of his treatment regiments. He said that he will have to work out religiously, rest diligently, ice and stretch.

“You name it,” Carter said. “Whatever it is, I am willing to do it.”

Carter has played the past two season with the Hawks, but before that he played three seasons with Knicks coach David Fizdale in Memphis.

“Will he retire already?” Fizdale joked. “I am so tired of him! But I think it is phenomenal. It is awesome to see. He gives us 40-pluses a lot of hope.”

As disappointed Knicks fans streamed out the doors of the Garden, several of them could be overheard murmuring, “At least we got to see Vince go off.”

“It’s a shooter’s gym,” Carter said. “If you hit a few, it’s gold.”

ESPN Stats & Information contributed to this report.

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