Carter ranks 19th all-time scoring with 25,728 points. He won the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest with a spectacular array of dunks.
His slam in the 2000 Olympics where he leapt over 2.18-metre Frenchman Frederic Weis is perhaps the greatest in-game dunk ever.
With the coronavirus interrupting this season and the Hawks not invited to next month’s resumption, Carter felt it was time.
“If there was any disappointment because of the season – any of that – it was kind of easier to put it aside and handle it that way,” Carter said in his podcast. “It’s like, OK, it’s something bigger than my career.”
A 1998 first-round pick, Carter became the only player to play in four different decades when he took the court January 4 vs Indiana.
“His evolving career arc was perhaps like none other in league history,” a statement from the Hawks said.