The Memphis Grizzlies made a trip to Dallas on Friday night, but it was the memories that Vince Carter brought back that stole the night.
The Dallas Mavericks had a horrendous night of basketball on Friday night after scoring just 64 points and losing by 17 points to the Grizzlies. But who cares about that?
Vince Carter was back in town.
Vince Carter, arguably the greatest dunker of all-time, came back to American Airlines Center on Friday night to see some familiar faces from his time in Dallas. Carter notably spent three seasons in Dallas where he averaged in double figures his whole time as a Mav.
Known for his high-flying dunks and infectious personality, fans in Dallas remember Vince Carter for one thing…the corner three.
But fans aren’t the only ones that reminisce about this franchise moment.
At shootaround on Friday morning, Carter was asked about the spot on the floor where hit the shot against the Spurs.
"“When I walk out here sometimes I tend to just naturally walk over here. Yeah man, it was a great moment for me. After all the big shots I made or things I have accomplished. To do something like that later in your career and it was a big deal, it’s always a great feeling,” Carter said."
Even though Dallas didn’t win the series, it was a moment that Carter, the organization and fan base will never forget. His veteran presence off the bench during those three years was something that Dallas really hasn’t had since he left.
“He was great for us for three years. When he decided to leave, that was a blow for me because of the relationship he and I developed,” Rick Carlisle said pre-game on Friday night. Carter brought a sense of reliability to the bench unit. He was not only the leader of the second unit, but spent time on the court during clutch moments (like above) because of the trust he had gained with Carlisle.
Now, three years after he left, Carter is in his 19th season in the league as he is now the oldest player in the NBA at 40 years old. “He’s one of the guys I can really talk to, he’s close to my age,” Carlisle joked about Carter.
But age is just a number for Carter as the veteran is averaging over 10 points and four rebounds a game while logging 27 minutes a night off the bench. The 40 year-old Carter simply keeps on producing in the league, no matter how old he gets.
When “experts” try to predict how a player will age, they normally don’t project the “athletic dunkers” to age well over the course of their career. But Carter isn’t your average player.
“In my mind, he’s a first ballot Hall of Famer,” Carlisle said.
I couldn’t agree more, Vince Carter is a first ballot Hall of Famer and he is welcome back in Dallas anytime.