Not Your Average Veteran – Happy Birthday Vince Carter

Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton/USA TODAY Sports

Not Your Average Veteran – Happy Birthday Vince Carter

 

In the 1998 NBA Draft, Vince Carter was initially drafted by the Golden State Warriors with the fifth overall pick. But he was traded to the Toronto Raptors for the fourth overall pick, Antawn Jamison, on draft night – the beginning of a new era in ‘The 6ix’.

Highlight-reel dunks, game winners, well actually wins in general, a fabulous one-two punch with his cousin Tracy McGrady and NBA playoffs. Vince Carter was the man in Toronto between 1998 and 2004. After not making the playoffs in the 2003-04 season, General Manager Glen Grunwald and the entire coaching staff were fired during the summer, which made Carter angry and frustrated with the Raptors’ front office. Eventually, Carter asked for a trade, and on December 18, 2004, the Raptors traded Carter to the New Jersey Nets in exchange for Alonzo Mourning, Eric Williams, Aaron Williams and two first-round draft picks.

Toronto fans felt that Carter betrayed them and were mad. Carter jerseys were burned, and new merchandise like ‘FUVC’ and ‘Wince Carter’ shirts went on sale. In his first game back (and in games for years to come) in Toronto, on April 15, 2005, Carter was heavily booed Raptors fans.

While the issue with the Raptors has been solved and is all love now (as it should be), Carter, who turns 42 years old today, is still playing and signed a one-year contract with the Atlanta Hawks this past summer.

He seems to be unbreakable and still has highlight plays every other night. He even admitted, that his body feels better now, than it did when he was 25.

Unlike many of his veteran colleagues, the eight-time All Star’s mission isn’t, and has never been, to chase a ring. There are numerous successful and unsuccessful examples of players who did try to chase a ring. Carter though, prefers to continue having a bigger role with a team, rather than playing only a few, or garbage time, minutes to win a ring. It is likely that Vince could have joined a contender for his veteran minimum. Most teams would be happy to have a guy like him on their roster.

He simply is half man, half amazing. FOREVER! Happy Birthday!

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