NBA / May 19, 2010 / 1:45 pm

Vince Carter Will Never Escape The Reputation Of Small-Time Player

Vince Carter, Dime #21

After Vince Carter choked at the foul line last night, I realized something: Vince will never escape his reputation as a player that isn’t clutch. While this label is certainly unfair to attach to Carter, it will nevertheless dog him throughout the remainder of his playing days and into retirement.

Despite the fact that he is an eight-time All-Star and two-time All-NBA player, Carter is still seen as overrated by many. For some reason, whether it be his inability to get a team to the Conference Finals before this year, or his seemingly laid-back attitude toward the game, people have disliked Carter for awhile. Despite the fact that Carter is a good guy, never in trouble with the law, and a man of principle who attended his UNC graduation on the same day as a Raptors playoff game, people still love to hate Vince.

I personally am not one of those guys, as I grew to admire Vince in his time with the Nets, but the haters are everywhere. They will cite the fact that in Game 4 of the 2007 Conference Semifinals against the Cavs with the Nets down by two and under 20 seconds to play, Carter failed to get up a shot as he was stripped by Larry Hughes. Or they’ll bring up the fact that he missed a game-winner in Game 7 against the Sixers after attending his UNC graduation as mentioned above. They will mention him quitting on Toronto, and his penchant for injuries and a laundry list of other things. However, none of Vince’s detractors point out what he has done for the teams he has been on.

He single-handedly put the Raptors on the map, making them relevant in basketball circles as a new franchise in the early 2000s. After coming to the Nets in 2004, he carried that team along with Jason Kidd to the 8th seed in that year’s playoffs – the same playoffs that he hit a fadeaway from the baseline to force double overtime. He has also hit numerous game-winners over the years in the regular season, including in 2009 against the Hawks while still with the Nets.

While none of the cited examples above will change the mind of any Vince detractors after his two clankers at the end of the game last night, Vince’s reputation for coming up small will live on until he eventually fades from the NBA spotlight over time.

What do you think?

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  • kowtz

    He did not graduate on the same day of Game 7 PHI-TOR East Semis… He graduated the day before, missing practice, and missing the potential game winner, fade away jumper from the weak side corner…

    Just saying…

  • isotope

    Over-reacting! He missed two free throws. Can’t be compared with Nick Anderson missing 4 free throws with his team up. And it’s not like Carter is a career 95% FT shooter. Not a choke job. If any Magic is choking it’s R Lewis.

  • http://www.nodoubt223rd.com Nodizzel

    I’d have to agree with isotope on that one.

  • fallinup

    The Philly series in the 01 playoffs was when the whispers started coming about Vince. The UNC game… which for the most part, I supported him being there graduating… but the series was very competitive… the haters had every right to attack that. But the missed J to win it in Game 7 was the one that stuck for me. After that you had Vince get hurt… and he was never really the same since. Then came him admitting to quitting on Toronto. That shit don’t fly in the NBA.

    For me it’s his heart. And his toughness. He can’t seem to get an injury without writhing in excruciating pain. Of course I would love to see him over come that. And become the killer he was hyped to be when he came in as a rook. But I wasn’t surprised by last night… not at all.

  • Silverselectjd

    whoa, was VC ever a big-time player? Who gave him that title? At best he’s a highlight film, take away his dunks and he’s basically Scott Burrell. Anyone remember him? exactly.

  • shuttles

    I’ve always liked Vince but he’d drive me crazy if he played for my team. His shot selection is just so godawful. I think JVG kinda made this point last night when Vince hit a ridiculous step back baseline 3, but Vince can make shots that very few players on the planet would even dream about attempting. He can shoot fade aways from 3 effortlessly. But… that doesn’t mean he should be shooting those shots. With his talent he should be getting and making easy shots.

    Look at Pierce – the guy is money from the right elbow but he doesn’t just go over there and shoot fall-aways. He puts a body into his guy, steps back to create space, and goes straight up. Pierce gets to his spots on the floor and gets good looks because of it. Vince on the other hand seems to settle for tough fall-away jumpers because he thinks he can make them and yes, Vince, you can, but you’re not gonna make as many.

  • IGP

    Well do you mean Scott Burrell in high school and college or Scott Burrell in the NBA? Just sayin…

  • Detroit Dave

    Just another really good player.

  • Sacto_J

    There’s no ferocity in this cat. Softer than a pillow, a snuggee and Dairy Queen ice cream combined, Orlando will do great in the regular season and fail in the playoffs as long as they defer to Vince. Get the ball to your man child freak of nature and spread the floor and things will be much better. Vince isn’t worthless, but he’s got little of the Killer Instinct that shapes great players into champions. Too bad the Magic don’t still have Hedo…

  • Silverselectjd

    NBA role player, don’t expect too much, Scott Burrell

  • Silverselectjd

    Oh and i gotta agree, Lewis is the choker. And where is the famed defence of Barnes? Or is he saving it for #24?


    no matter what they say about vince. i’ll always remember winning the dunk contest. that’s it. is there anything else really worth remembering? hahahahahaha


    barnes is saving it for kobe just like shaq was saving it for howard.

  • JAY

    Sorry, you’re incorrect. The graduation ceremony was on the same day as that game 7. He got off the plane at 5pm and the tip-off was at 8pm.

    “a man of principle who attended his UNC graduation on the same day as a Raptors playoff game, people still love to hate Vince.”

    I defended that decision at the time but in hindsight, he should have skipped the graduation ceremony. That was game 7… the single biggest game in his career. He scored 22 pts that game which isn’t bad but this was Vince in his PRIME. He could have scored 40 any given night(and did that series). I forget who it was but a reporter asked an NFL player if he would have gone to his grad ceremony on the same day as the Super Bowl. To paraphrase his answer he said “no way in hell. I would have gone to the next graduation ceremony.”

  • http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/703154723/the-soulchorea-project?pos=1 Kermit The Washington

    Dag, why you gotta get on Scott Burrell? He has nothing to do with this. Horrible comparison dag

  • fallinup

    @ JAY

    Damn.. didn’t realize the UNC game WAS game 7. Hell yeah, hindsight is a friggin BITCH. We missed the game winner in game 7…. no wonder Toronto hates his ass. :)

  • Silverselectjd

    Dude, i wasnt hating on Scott Burrell, in fact i think he was a solid role player, but wouldnt want him to take your huge shots, thats why he was a role player. the same way VC should be. He’s not a franchise player, he’s solid back up.

  • LakeShow84

    I agree with Sacto J..

    He dont look like a killer.. he wants the moments that come with being a killer but he dont have the LOOK of a killer..

    And he single handledly killed that comeback last night.. like i said he missed eazy passes for eazy baskets and was too slow with his decision makin in the end game..

    Dont help when you choke 2 gimmies either..

    You can have all the talent in the world.. if you aint got no BALLS tho it dont matter when push comes to shove..

  • fallinup


    ** He missed

  • Joe

    I hate Vince, but I can’t count his buzzer beaters on one hand. He’s pretty clutch. Though he’s not a big game player, or a winner.

  • JAY

    I feel you man. What crazy about that whole graduation crap is that it really meant nothing. Yeah sure, it looks good and it made his mom happy. but what the fuck did that little piece of paper called a diploma do for Vince?? Nothing!!! If Vince spent the day focusing on the task at hand, winning the game, they would have beat the Sixers no doubt. That Toronto team could have and would have beat the Pierce/Walker Celtic team and put him in the NBA Finals. They would have been swept in the Finals but still… that could have changed his whole career.

    Plain and simple, he has no heart.

  • JAY

    Question for you regarding your post…..

    “fade away jumper from the weak side corner…”

    How do you take a jumper from the weakside?? Isn’t the “weakside” the opposite side of the court that the ball is on?? The “ballside” is the strongside.
    If Vince took a “fade away jumper from the weakside corner”, whether he made it or missed it, that’s amazing.

  • sweetv0mit

    Do any of you remember who made the jumper to make the score 90-89 last night? Stop hating coz the guy missed freethrows. SHIT HAPPENS!

  • JAY

    LMAOoOOOoO @ “Stop hating coz the guy missed freethrows. SHIT HAPPENS!”

    Nobody’s hating because he missed free throws… it’s because he missed 2 GAME-WINNING free-throws. So he hit the jumper against defence but can’t hit 2 unguarded shots from the free-throw line AT HOME.

    That’s soft.

  • JAY

    Correction they weren’t game winning FTs…. i confused that with the graduation day crap. my bad. Doesn’t change the fact that he was at home.

  • Rafa23

    gilbert arenas once missed game winning free throws against the cavs, and he aint no choker. even ray allen missed important freebies once. carter has been the most clutch player in the last 10 years behind kobe.
    sure he hasnt that complete killer instinct, and thats what kept him from being a lot better, but in the clutch his is pretty good. and he is a super nice guy, I like that better than a complete idiots that a lot of those “superstars” are.

  • http://www.nodoubt223rd.com Nodizzel

    Hell a lot of players have missed game winning free throws people seem to hop on his VC’s back more when it’s him. It’s not like the guys is superb from the line. VC’s is better than average players way better.

  • Brown


    Weakside is more of a football reference, typically used to describe running plays. If a guy is right-handed, running to the right side is strongside and running to the left is weakside. Since VC is right-handed, he shot it from the left, which is his weakside.

  • sh!tfaced

    VC – 22.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg, 4.2 asg, 1.2 spg, 0.7 bpg, 79.8% FT, 44.5% FG, 37.5% 3pt-FG

    PP – 22.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg, 3.9 asg, 1.5 spg, 0.6 bpg, 80.2% FT, 44.5 FG, 36.9 3pt-FG

    Those stats are just way too similar. Same draft class. Same position. The big difference?
    Pierce nails his two freethrows and Vince bricks his.

  • LakeShow84

    @ Shitfaced

    Which is probably why PP has been deep into the playoffs numerous times in his career..

    Somethin to make you go hhhmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm…

  • TIP

    @Detroit Dave

    “Just another really good player.”

    Truer words have never been spoken, bro. Vince Carter is one of the best dunkers (if not the best dunker) of his gen. and just another good player in the league. Trying to portray him as any more than that is complete folly.

  • the cynic

    Vince is pretty clutch if he’s playing the raptors or some other bottom feeder, but he never gets it done against the elite teams

  • JAY

    Incorrect sir. “Weakside” is also a basketball reference. I’m sure you’ve heard the term “weakside help” or “weakside cut”??
    In football, it may be a reference to the dominant hand, but not in basketball. In basketball it refers to where the ball is.

  • Ian

    isotope agree
    vince is a good clutch player now lewis is another thing

  • karizmatic

    The problem with Vince is that he’s not big game clutch, he’s not icewater clutch, he’ll do it in a meaningless regular season game when he is feeling it, but he never comes up big in the moments when legends are made, every chance he ever had to do that he came up short and just like people remember the big shots and performances, guys like Kobe, Shaq, Jordan, Pierce, Duncan, Ginobili, and Chauncey Billups had in the playoffs, they remember every time Vince was supposed to do it, was capable of doing it, but for whatever reason came up short…then when you admit to just throwing a season because you’re mad about where you are, well then the shoe pretty much fits…sorry Wince as I said earlier today I knew the game was over as soon as he started holding his wrist, I was actually genuinely surprised he summoned enough will to make that late jumper to give them the lead…and ironically y’all put up a clip of Jordan dropping 64 on the Magic and playing with a hurt wrist!!! lol…if that doesn’t add insult to injury.

  • ctkennedy

    carter is overrated at times but this is the same guy that had this garbage team called the new jersey nets close to the playoffs last yr took him off this yr the win 12games hes better than yall givin him credit
    hes below kobe,wade,and roy….but is interchangable with him,joe johnson,manu,jesus,and ellis depends on what u like

  • ‘Twan

    I think Vince really went under the radar when he went to the Nets…those were really crappy teams which he and Kidd had to singlehandedly carry to the playoffs, it’s no surprise that Carter’s +/- with NJ was out of the roof (like a net +10.5 average??)
    But the more important thing was, with NJ, Vince was nothing like the bad character guy that the Toronto incident had made him out to be…he pretty much gave a 100% effort his whole time there and didn’t let injuries get to him (he played @ least 76 games in each w/ the Nets).
    That’s why Nets fans still love him, and why they gave him standing ovations when he returned to NJ this season, a sharp contrast from the boos he receives from Toronto.

    It really sucks for VC that his time with the Nets went overlooked and those disgusting Toronto fans screwed his reputation over despite him singlehandedly making them relevant…oh well maybe VC will be more appreciated after Bosh leaves, and any future ‘star’ they may get leave as well.

  • ‘Twan

    And without the help of 2 future HOF’ers and this Rondo, Pierce would’ve never come close to winning that championship. IN fact before all that help came, his team was getting demolished early in the playoffs, in a really really weak Eastern Conference (the highest win total in the East at that time was always in the high 40s-low 50s)

    If Carter somehow wins a championship with the Magic this year, or next year, then I can see his reputation being rejuvenated in a similar fashion to Pierce’s.

  • bc

    vince is a quitter yep u said it right…injury prone…cryin baby etcetc….yep u got it all correct….n yes im a hater…

  • http://bt.davka.info/ SparkyJay23

    If Wince was clutch would he not try to WIN games instead of fucking quitting on his squad- fuck him.

    KG gave a interview and the fact he couldn’t get his team deep into the playoffs made him cry- Wince just stopped trying.

  • Doomedhuman

    Twan says: “disgusting Toronto fans screwed his reputation over despite him singlehandedly making them relevant…”

    Sorry pal, but Vince screwed his own reputation here in T.O. buy quitting on the team. Remember his “I ain’t gonna dunk anymore” comment while still being paid millions. Dunking was Vince and Vince was dunking – you don’t have one without the other.

  • JAY

    “those disgusting Toronto fans screwed his reputation over”

    Who screwed who? Vince fucked his own reputation up. A city doesn’t start rumours and have everyone believe them if the proof isn’t in the pudding. Get real. His reputation of being a pussy is because of him. his rep for being soft is because of HIM. He admitting to not trying while in Toronto. You can’t really blame Toronto fans. Blame Vince for his reputation. It’s well deserve.

  • ‘Twan

    Wow, anyone who isn’t blinded by hate knows that those comments made by Vince were first off not nearly as bad as the fans and media immidiately tried to interpret them as…and even so that was when he was young and very frustrated at the Raptors’ retardedness when it came to building a team. That moment should not be what defines his career…it’s something that Nets fans realized after his time with us…

    And when it comes to Toronto, why the hell is there always this drama surrouding any relevant player that plays there? First with Carter, and now with Bosh and this twitter nonsense and other crap. Something about Toronto huh?

  • JAY

    So, no comment as to who ruined his “reputation”?? You blame the Toronto fans for “screwing up” his rep when it’s his own. Even a lot of his “fans” know he’s soft. They still like him, but they aren’t stupid enough to know he’s the real deal. I’m sure you’ve seen him fall in agony, then when you see the replay, NOTHING touches him. He’s an actor, and a damn good one. He’s obviously conVINCing you.

    another one of your comments….
    “Vince was nothing like the bad character guy that the Toronto incident had made him out to be”
    He’s not a bad character. Nobody said that. He’s just SOFT. No attitude. No killer instinct. He’s not a dude you want to go to battle with. Stop standing up for the fag. You point to people’s “hate” blinding them. Maybe your adoration for him is blinding you.

  • http://espn fugazi69

    Are you serious? You don’t understand why he’s hated? Your a joke Marks. What a puff piece.

    How about he admitted he stopped trying in Toronto while getting paid millions. Do you not remember that. Wow I will never read anything by you ever again.

  • ‘Twan

    OK, I won’t disagree with you that he can be considered “soft”. It doesn’t really bother me if people label him as soft or w/e. The thing that pisses me off IS that people label him as a bad character, calling him “selfish”, “cancerous”, “wasted career”, “anti-Clutch”,etc. And also it’s like Vince is under a microscope for everything he does. As soon as the guy makes any kind of mistake, fans and the media (and guys like Bill Simmons) gather all over him…any other player wouldn’t get nearly as much negativity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/doubleclutchakakingofthekicks DoubleClutch95

    It sad that a player like Vince (who btw is actually a clutch player if you think about ALL the game winners he has hit in his career) has to endure this type of negativity. He been a model NBA player, a team player, but for some reason he get so much hate. I just pray the Magic get back to the finals and win it because if not they will say the team from last year is better (which if u actually think about it the magic team from last year would of lost to the celtics if KG had played and the trip to the finals would of never happened). I’ve got faith in VC and I know he will come through in this series. Those missed free throws will be a blessing for the magic team as a whole, just watch.

  • denots

    The first post was the dumbest post I’ve ever read.

    1)The graduation ceremony was on the day of game 7
    2)Technically a ball can’t be shot from the weakside