Vince Carter: ‘Love of the Game’ still motivates him entering his 21st NBA season

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8-time All-Star Vince Carter joins Cris Carter, Nick Wright and Jenna Wolfe on Friday's First Things First. Hear what Vince Carter says motivates him entering his 21st NBA season.

- Vince, how do you do it at this even an advanced age? You talk about getting to the gym early. You've always had a tremendous work ethic and a regiment. But right now, man, what motivates you to continue to play at the high level at the age that you're at? Because it's really astonishing, me viewing you from a distance.

- Yeah, and I think you'll agree with me when I say this, but it's just the love of the game that takes over everything. I enjoy coming to work. I enjoy the ups and downs. It hurts so good sometimes. You know, some mornings I wake up and you'll probably watch me walk into the gym and like, there's no way he's playing today.

But it's just the love for the game, you're willing to do whatever until your body says that's enough. And I put a lot of work in in the summer, and I know what it takes to be prepared. But at the same time, I could walk by a weight room throughout the day and say, eh, I can do it later. But in the evening, reality hits and it will say to me, let's get in gear and get prepared.

Because I'll never disrespect the game and just play the game just because I'm able to but not put the work in. When I play the game, and that's why I've always said, going through a team. And some people said, oh, you're going to this team, that team, when they feel I should play for someone else or whatnot.

I prepare myself to play and play at a high level. And when I'm preparing myself to play, the mentality now at year 21 is the same as year one, year 11, and so on and so forth as far as preparing to play, being ready to play, and going to play. Just sitting there on the bench, I mean, if that's the case, I can sit at home on the couch.