NBA / Mar 28, 2011 / 1:30 pm

Phoenix Benches Vince Carter

Vince Carter

Vince Carter (photo. Jonathan Mannion)

To the Phoenix Suns fans out there: your playoff chances now rest on the shoulders of Jared Dudley and Marcin Gortat. Well, not really. But after starting during Sunday night’s 91-83 loss against Dallas, the two former bench players will now be a part of Phoenix’s opening group for the remainder of the season.

Paul Coro of The Arizona Republic reports Robin Lopez, and more surprisingly, Vince Carter will move into reserve roles. Still, Suns’ coach Alvin Gentry told the paper that it wasn’t necessarily any individual’s struggles that prompted the move.

“It’s not a reflection on those two guys (Lopez and Carter),” he told The Arizona Republic. “It’s just us trying to look at different lineups and different combinations and see if we can get any consistency down the stretch out of what we’re doing.”

The Gortat move is entirely understandable; he was basically already playing starter’s minutes and has been a million times more productive than Lopez. Now with more time alongside Steve Nash, he should be even better.

The Carter benching raises a few eyebrows. Even though he had a great game against Dallas (20 points, five rebounds, five assists), Dudley isn’t a prototypical starting two-guard. But Carter has struggled and probably will not return to the team next year. If he is waived by June 30, only $4 million of his $18 option is guaranteed for next season.

With just 10 games remaining, the Suns are sitting at a pedestrian 36-36. The playoffs might be out of reach. This is just one final move that perhaps came too late.

What do you think?

Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.

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  • http://www.LakersNation.com Lakers Nation

    It’s OVER! . . . probably one of the biggest waste of Talents EVER! . . I was one of his biggest fans when he was at UNC and then as a rookie with the Raptors, but after developed a fear for going to the hole . . . it was pretty much OVER!

  • LakeShow84

    Crazy how far he has fallen though..

    I think the Orlando saga was a tell it all as far as if him being surrounded with talent was ever an issue.. NJ was a solid landing place but they NEVER had any bigs for him to play off..

    Peace out VC.. Best dunk contest contestant EVER..

  • JAY

    RIP Vince’s career. That fucker’s game has been dead for a few years.

  • dmitry of jersey

    too bad steve nash has to deal with VC and his bullshit

  • nizzio

    Thanks for coming. We always enjoy watching replays of the 2000 slam dunk contest. Oh, and fuck you for leaving Toronto

  • NYK

    who would you take on your team right now?
    Tmac or Carter?

  • Kobeeeee

    still the best in game dunker and dunk contest participient. EVER. that’s his legavy. thanks for the joy you brought us while it lasted. all in all maybe you were one of the biggest disappointments ever concerning talent / championchip / achievement ratio. R.I.P. V.C.

  • Michorizo

    TMac and Carter in Toronto would have been fun to see…too bad egos got in the way…or was it money…nah it was egos

  • http://www.facebook.com/loganlight loganlight

    Man, not even Steve Nash could revive VC. That is rough.


  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    8-time All-Star
    2-time All-NBA
    Rookie of the Year
    20,000+ points
    36th all-time (NBA) in points
    25th all-time in career scoring average (22.3 ppg)
    17th all-time in threes made

    Do you know how many players have produced at least 20,000 points, 4700 rebounds and 3600 assists in NBA history? Eighteen. Of those 18, the only ones who are not in the Hall of Fame are Payton, Kobe, KG, Pierce and … Vince Carter.

    And Carter has his college degree, and he’s made over $100 million in his career. So tell me again how is that a waste of talent?

  • Son

    Vince is not exactly riding off into the sunset. But wish him the best, but Toronto on the map, underrated career overall. He will always have an army of haters, lol its funny he doesn’t care about them. I really was hoping it would have worked out in Phoenix for him.

    Dark days for the VC15 fan club indeed.


  • neoy

    @ Austin

    People are saying he did not live up to his full potential because he has never WON anything, he never had leadership skills to bring a team to glory. Sure statistically he is up there with the elite, but when a players career comes to an end, stats isnt the entire measuring stick. I think we can all agree to that.

    Ask yourself if Vince Carter’s heart/determination/leadership qualities/determination match up with the any of the names you’ve listed: Payton,Kobe,Kg,Pierce?

    Thats why he wasted his talent..

  • neoy

    ontop of that Vince is a quitter and a b*tch… I may be a little biased cause Im a TDOT fan, but I was a fan of his even after he got to Jersey. He could’ve been more than just an Allstar, he could’ve been a Winner and a player that everyone respected.

  • derik

    Vince could be and next MJ, but he chose to be the Vince Carter he is now

  • JAY

    @Austin: “So tell me again how is that a waste of talent?”
    Do you think Vince used his talent to the best of his ability? Or do you think he’s a coaster.

    To me, he coasted through his career. Those numbers you pulled up show how amazing he truly was even at half speed for a large majority of his career. He once said, “I believe I could be better than Michael Jordan”. and you know what?? I believe he is 1 of maybe 3 or 4 people who had the God given gifts to live up to that statements. The one thing missing was MJ’s will.

    I wouldn’t go as far as saying he was a waste of talent, but he certainly wasted his talent.


    Man, this guy was fucked up ever since he attended North Carolina graduation ceremonies/ECF Game 7 back in 2001.

    He was never the same again after that.

  • http://www.dimemag.com Austin Burton

    @JAY — “Do you think Vince used his talent to the best of his ability? Or do you think he’s a coaster.”

    I don’t think it has to be one or the other. I think Vince is somewhere in the middle. I get why people are saying Vince didn’t live up to his potential, but to me it’s being WAY too dramatic to suggest he was a “waste of talent.”

    Yeah, I also believe Vince is/was talented enough to be somewhere near Jordan’s level. But if he ends up as “only” a borderline Hall of Famer (I’d put him in, but I know a lot of people wouldn’t), that’s still pretty amazing as an accomplishment.

  • Sevan

    He doesnt get enough touches in the overated Steve Nash ball hogging too much dribbling offence.

  • RC

    could have been the best player the league has seen… if he only put in work like MJ or Kobe.. but oh well who am I to judge

    the nickname says it all “half man, half amazing”… could have made it 100 percent amazing

  • Mark

    Austin: Thank you for putting up those stats. VC has been on the decline for awhile, but he’s still a good player.

  • Claw

    @Sevan-Seriously, the guy leading the league in assists is a “ball hog” that has made many guys earn contracts that they wouldn’t have gotten without him? Do you even watch basketball?

    VC just isn’t that type of “determined” guy, he had great talent but didn’t work too hard at other parts of his game. They asked Grant Hill about him and he said, “That dude eats too much sweets, I don’t know how he eats that much junkfood”. Didn’t talk about his game but more about his habits that Hill couldn’t believe mostly at his age.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/djlocdog Loc

    I’m a raps fan, my thoughts on Vince need not be said.

    BUT, did anyone see Gentry screaming at the team in a timeout, obviously angry, Vince turns around, happens to face the camera and gives a straight “Who does THIS GUY thnk he is? pfffft” face.

  • Brooklyn

    He never had a good team people. Honestly, were the Magics and Nets contenders or Pretenders? Come on people, the Nets only had Kidd and Carter while the Magics only had Carter and Howard with a shitty PG and a overpaid Lewis. Im sorry he couldn’t have the good coaches and players like Phil Jackson, Greg Pop, Shaq, etc.

  • oppa

    stats aren’t everything in basketball, Austin Burton. The only accurate stat in basketball is points.

  • dcpkeys

    I believe that Vince has a heck of a lot more juice, but there could be more than what meets the eye that don’t motivate him. The credibility of the NBA is questionable from what I have seen as far as Refs., team favorites, etc. Vince is college educated unlike Kobe, Lebron, D’Wade, etc. He don’t have to rely on ball games to define him as an achieved individual. He don’t appear to be challenged when it comes to coaches making plays either. Vince can coach and play with the team at the same time. My opinion is that the coaches have this idea of what position Vince should play. I think at this point in his career he would make a hell of a point guard. He is more talented, and intelligent than most I’ve seen him play with. His coaches don’t know how to use him. If you make Vince a point guard, he will get the ball more often and be forced to exert his talent. If you notice, Kobe gets the ball down the stretch at times just as much a D-Fish. Making Vince a point guard in my opinion probably would re-vitalize his career. Just check out some of his assist. He is highly under-rated for that. I will see which coach is smart enough to figure that out. Van G and Lawrence F wasn’t. Your turn A. Gentry. Good luck Vince. People come and people go, but stay true to yourself. I’m sure you know what you are capable of.


  • JAY

    @Brooklyn: “He never had a good team people… the Nets only had Kidd and Carter”
    Kidd took a team with RJ, Kittles, and MacCullough to the Finals. Carter set them back a bit because dude gives no effort on defense and doesn’t run the floor. When NJ acquired him, they envisioned Vince and RJ running the wings with Kidd dishing the ball. It turned out that Vince was ALWAYS the trailer. How the fuck does the best dunker to ever play in the NBA always trail the play!?! Vince hasn’t ran in transition since the Olympics. It’s like once he jumped over Weis he was done trying.
    And BTW, he had a team… Muggsy, Vince, Christie/T-Mac, Oakley, and Antonio Davis in the starting lineup, and Dee Brown, Chris Childs, Dell Curry, and Donyell Marshall off the bench is a pretty damn good team.

    @ dcpkeys: “I think at this point in his career he would make a hell of a point guard.”
    He’s too slow. He can barely stay in front of shooting guards… how is he going to stay with the point guards of the league? I’m not referring to the D-Rose’s or Westbrooks of the league… i’m talking the Calderons and Mo Williams’. That would be the slowest team EVER. They wouldn’t play any transition ball bcuz VC doesn’t like running… therefore he won’t lead the break. And FYI, teams who play in a slow tempo typically are defensive minded… Vince would not be an ideal PG for any system. Maybe a stopgag pg for 5 min stretches, but definitely not a full time pg.

  • QQ

    Always been a VC critic.

    He went to my team, people were calling us East Champs, but I was actually saying ‘Slow down.. Because of VC?? NAAAH’, knowing that he always play below his level of talent.

    Made some good games for the Magic (48 point explosion vs the Hornets… I’ll never forget that), but ultimately, a letdown. Of course, it’s not VC if it’s not a letdown.

    So here I am, in a wierd place… I still hate how he’s always seemingly coasting and not using the full extent of his abilities, but not the kind of rabid hate I used to spew before he went to my team (because like I said, he didn’t became a complete shithead like I thought he would).

    He has always been a good player (and for a few years, a GREAT one), but we could all say that he is a letdown.

    That’s Vince Carter for me.

  • dcpkeys

    I agree that Vince has trailed in the past, but this is not due to a lack of ability. It’s mental. Some have even questioned his work ethic, but for sure at a point guard position he will be force to play the game he could play at a certain level and tempo. Don’t under-estimate Vince. Rajon Rondo have recently been benched for a lack of production. Besides speed isn’t the only thing that makes a good point guard it takes incredible thinking as well. Vince IQ is pretty high. His body isn’t banged up as much as some either. He hasn’t driven through the lanes as much as some elite players through the years. That’s why he isn’t banged up. I see him as a player who has preserved his body. Look at Grant Hill. With his injury woes, it’s allowed him to make a comeback at 38 years of age. Sure 38 is considered to be old in the NBA as a player, but Grant has played much as some. Hence, he body is preserved. DWade, Kobe, and Lebron however will be crippled as old men or taking heavy arthritis medication for the number of falls on the floor that they have taken.

  • JAY

    Are you really comparing Grant Hill and VC? Just bcuz Grant could do it means VC could? Grant Hill always gives his all. That’s why he is still effective. You can’t compare those two players. Their situations aren’t even similar.

    “Look at Grant Hill. With his injury woes, it’s allowed him to make a comeback at 38 years of age.”
    He made his comeback at 33, not 38. Vince is waaaay past the point of improving his health. If he hasn’t looked after his body up until this point, he never will. Even when Grant Hill was out for almost 3 yrs in Orlando he worked out.

    “Hence, he body is preserved.”
    How did he preserve his body? By not driving into the lane? Then I guess Eddie Curry is preserving his body by not playing at all. It takes more than not driving into the lane to preserve one’s body. Conditioning is the best way to preserve ones body. Ask Ray Allen. Look at Vince’s body. You can’t tell me that he looks after his body. He’s overweight.

    “DWade, Kobe, and Lebron however will be crippled as old men or taking heavy arthritis medication for the number of falls on the floor that they have taken.”
    So now you’re saying Vince is taking better care of his body than Wade, Kobe and Lebron?!? LMAO!!! Wow.

  • http://www.DarkWingPro.com DarkWing Productions

    A lot of dudes owe J-Kidd a lot of money.

  • dcpkeys

    I guess at this point time will tell who is right. Hopefully, Vince will pick up the pieces and silence some critics. Only he can do that when and if he decides to. I guess some people who have just totally revitalized their body with hard work didn’t have a chance either huh?! The nay sayers never will try P90x or anything like that either right?! It’s not that hard to condition your body, but when your body takes a beaten so badly, there is but so much that conditioning can do to preserve you.

    The End

  • anonymous

    to the retard that said kidd took the nets to the finals before vince got there and vince brought them down…kidd had kerry kittles, keith van horn and a PRIME kenyon martin…when vince got there, they had jason kidd and rj(overrated scorer) was injured for vince’s first half season (04-05)…and in that season…vince was the best sg and possibly the most efficient player in the nba…in 05-06 no different vince was dropping 30 and 40 pt games against the most elite team tying his career high of 51 against a heat team with payton,wade,posey,shaq and company defending him avging 38.5ppg against them in 4 regular season meetings…not to mention the highlights he filled up dunking on people and hitting clutch shot after clutch shot with swagger and ease lol…in 07 vince and j kidd became the first duo after jordan and pippen to have tripe doubles in the same game–vince’s statline–46 points 16 rebounds 10 assists–in all of vince’s seasons in new jersey he was often the only resort of efficient scoring and did not have a team that could go far…the worst thing 2 happen to vince carter in his entire nba career-jameer nelson & stan van gundy…admittingly carter is losing mental confidence at this stage of his career but the fact that casual media influenced fans think his career is a joke is a joke in itself and an insult to knowledgable nba fans who watch players and games lol

  • dcpkeys

    “Look at Grant Hill. With his injury woes, it’s allowed him to make a comeback at 38 years of age.”
    He made his comeback at 33, not 38. Vince is waaaay past the point of improving his health.

    Vince has just turned 34, so I guest that’s waaay off too huh?!
    Now I’m finished.

  • sean

    one of the most underrated players of all time…a future hall of famer…8 time all star…4 time #1 international vote getter breaking voting records of jordan and erving…there was a point in his career where people brought, “jordan who?” signs to vince carters road games and the only canadian team in the nba was the most followed team simply because of vince carter…leaving the toronto raptors in a lopsided trade as the greatest raptor fo all time…went to nj became the greatest nj nets sg of all time setting the single season scoring record in his first full season in jersey and dominating elite teams and the league at large…just never had a decent team in his first 10 years in the league…by the time he got one in his 11th season…he was greatly mis/under-utilized with a coach that crumbles under pressure and a shoot first pg/undersized sg in jameer nelson…bringing in vince to be THE GUY to the media and then making him the third scoring option is a recipe for disaster–which it eventually turned out to be…in my mind vince will go down as one of the most overly scrutinized and underrated players in the history of the NBA

  • dcpkeys

    Amen Sean:

    Let me add to mention the stomach virus right before Vince’s trade to the Suns. Jameer Nelson, Dwight Howard, and JJ Reddick was all in on it. Let’s see how far they get into the playoffs now with Turkulo. lol

  • sean

    lol funny how no1 responds after u bring the facts up instead of all the opinionated…”waste of talent” fans lol