Vince Carter was once one of the biggest superstars in the NBA. During his time with the Toronto Raptors, his athleticism rivaled or surpassed anyone's in basketball, and he was viewed as a peer to players like Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson. While those players have long since retired, Carter has managed to carve out an entire second career for himself as a durable role player. That durability was rewarded on Saturday, as Carter became the first player in NBA history to take the floor in four separate decades. 

Carter was drafted in 1998, and is obviously the last player left in the NBA who played before the turn of the 21st century. While his superstardom at that point made him a global phenomenon, he hasn't been that player for quite some time. For the past decade or so, Carter has survived on veteran guile. He worked on his three-point shot enough to turn it into a legitimate weapon, and while his defense was never elite, he committed himself to at least being able to help his team on that end of the floor. That reinvention is part of what made this moment so special for the future Hall of Famer. Carter could have hit this mark last night, against the Boston Celtics, but the Hawks were on the road. By doing so tonight, he could celebrate the moment with Atlanta's home fans. 

Carter has claimed that this will be his final season in the NBA. If so, he will finish just short of several all-time records. At the moment, he has played in 1,510 total games. Robert Parish holds the all-time record with 1,611, so Carter would need to play for at least another year in order to catch him. He should pass Dirk Nowitzki's 1,522 this season, but he Parish and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,560) are out of reach if he retires this season. 

Carter would still have a ways to go if he ever wanted to challenge the all-time minutes record, held by Abdul-Jabbar with 57,446. At 45,930 career minutes, Carter would need to play for several more seasons just to get within range. He is currently 18th all-time, and should climb a few spots higher before it's all said and done, but his real shot at a record came with games. 

Even so, many of his teammates literally don't know an NBA without Carter in it. Four Hawks (Bruno Fernando, Trae Young, Kevin Huerter and Cam Reddish) were born after Carter was drafted in 1998. 

The first generation of fans that saw him will remember him as one of the greatest dunkers in NBA history. This current one knows him more as a beloved teammate and role player. After tonight, though, he will be remembered first and foremost for lasting longer in the NBA than just about anyone ever has.