I think its safe to say that if you are a reader of this site you are probably a fan of this thing we call basketball. Its something that brings together arguably the greatest athletes in the world to play a game where 10 men fight a seemingly never-ending quest to put that almighty ball in the basket. However, there is a distinct art form for the truly elite players in this game where they have the ability to make us "Oooh" and "Aaah" in so many different ways. With sheer speed, unfathomable power, ballet-like finesse, and with the intelligence of a Rhodes Scholar, the greatest players in the Association have the ability to do all of the above.
Yet there's one player who is not considered elite in stature, but elite with all of the physical tools to be one of truly greatest basketball players of all-time. That my friends is Vince Carter, the most awe-inspiring athlete I've ever seen in my entire life...and he pisses me the hell off.
I can honestly say that Vince Carter has no equal. We all know his super power feats that he's pulled off in the past. Doing reverse 360's with ease, pulling off "Le dunk de la mort" aka "The Dunk of Death" when he dunked over 7'2" Frenchman Frederic Weis, putting together the best collection of dunks in a slam dunk contest in the storied history of the contest, plus some of the nastiest posterizations I've ever seen in my life. (Alonzo Mourning just went on himself.)
However, in the game of basketball...this here game. Has he ever in life made a difference? We all remember that horrendous Eastern Conference back in 2001, and Vince somehow lead the Raptors to the Eastern Conference Finals and had a duel for the ages with Vince and AI going for 50+ in the series. At that particular point, I was ready to take a seat on the Vince bandwagon and claim that he might be the game's best player.
He tricked us.
A couple of down years in Toronto, him tanking the season so that he could be traded. Then he gets traded to New Jersey, Jason Kidd despises him so much that Kidd got himself out of town and Vince paced through a couple of seasons in Jersey. Now its 2009-10, and he quite possibly found himself in the greatest situation that he ever could've landed in. His hometown in Orlando. Armed with the game's best defensive presence in Dwight Howard, and a team that is loaded at all positions. Plus, he doesn't have to play any defense whatsoever! He's got Howard down low, he's got Matt Barnes and Mikael Pietrus there to guard whoever the tougher swingman is, and he gets to thrive on a team where he's the only player that can really go 1-on-1.
You also know what that means? The Orlando Magic are solely depending on Vince Carter to help them win a championship. Process that for a minute.
This might be one of the softest players in NBA History. As my main man Mark Jackson (shout out to MommaTGTM real quick) said about Vince earlier, "When you see Vince laying on the ground hurt, you have to do like a parent would when they see their kid about to cry. You can't look at him. If the kid sees you looking at him then they'll start to cry even more, you have to ignore him."
Vince Carter is softer than tissue paper, hot Velveeta, fairies' wishes, and Rosa Acosta's butt cheeks. Plus, mentality he's about as frail as pixie sticks and wet newspaper. Vince has every single tool in the box, he has the ability to drive, he has the 3-pointer, he can pass very well, and he can play defense when he wants to. There really is nothing that Vince can't do on the court.
Wait, there is one thing. He doesn't know how to give a damn. Vince, you have maybe the greatest opportunity laid before you in anyone's NBA career. You are on a team that is so good that the best player doesn't even have a post move. Everyone else just shoots 3's. They NEED you! If you help LEAD this team to a title then your career is launched into the stratosphere. Why, because then you career would have actually mattered.
I don't have any hate for the man, but this is more of a plea from someone who loves the game of basketball. Be awe-inspiring for one month, and you'll have people "Oooh'ing" and "Aaah'ing" again, and you can have a career that you can actually be proud of.
P.S. If you missed our live show, you can download our weekly podcast of "Unsportsmanlike Conduct" on the ETSF Radio Network, as we are live Wednesday's at 9pm Eastern at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/edthesportsfan!