HoopsHype Vince Carter rumors

April 29, 2014 Updates
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Neither he nor anybody else knows if this season will produce a return to the postseason. But Carter does know two things. This team is better than last year’s. And he desperately wants to hang around to see this rebuilding project through to the end. Or at least next season. “I think I’ve earned the right to stick around,” Carter said. Dallas Morning News

He hopes it is a no-brainer that he re-signs with the Mavericks. “My fingers are crossed,” he said. “Next year might be even better. We can attract some more people, more talent. Now I know my role, and I know the system, it’s second nature to me now. I know the city very well. I’m stepping out, going to SMU games and getting out and about. I’m very comfortable here. “I like the guys. I like the nucleus we have here. With my role and the way I play and the way I go about things, it really helps guys here. And they like that. Hopefully, that’s enough so that they can still have trust in me enough to play significant minutes and help the other guys out.” Dallas Morning News

March 13, 2014 Updates
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February 26, 2014 Updates

Vince Carter was a little surprised when New York's J.R. Smith tugged at Carter's headband and pulled it over his ear. Surprised, but not upset about it. Carter said Wednesday that he thought Smith's action in the fourth quarter of the Dallas Mavericks' 110-108 victory over the Knicks on Monday was all in good fun. "It didn't bother me," Carter said after the Mavericks' shootaround. "I hear everybody making a big deal about it, but he didn't pull it over my eyes where I couldn't see or play the game, so it wasn't a big deal. But I know because it's him, it's an issue. He didn't want me to make any more shots. It was just funny to me." Dallas Morning News

Carter said he considers Smith a good friend and realizes that, because of Smith's past, that's why the headband issue has been such a hot topic. "I didn't argue with the refs or anything like that," he said. "It wasn't a big deal to me." Dallas Morning News

February 25, 2014 Updates
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Standing in a tunnel at American Airlines Center in Dallas earlier this season, Cuban gushed describing an athlete of such talent and grit that the Basketball Hall of Fame should induct him now, rather than waiting for retirement. “He’s a first-ballot Hall of Famer,” says Cuban. “People around here say we have to get Dirk another title. I want to get Vince a title as bad as I want to get Dirk another one. He’s made us a smarter, better organization. He comes to play. He takes charges—he takes pride in taking charges. Like all of us, he’s grown up. I want him to stay here the rest of his career.” SportsNet

And somewhere along the way, the franchise seemed to lose faith in its star. “When coach O’Neill came and [later] coach Mitchell came, to me, they were making a point that this ship is going to move without you. We don’t need you,” says Alvin Williams of the attitude toward Carter, his one-time teammate. “Both of those coaches came into the situation with the idea of: ‘Vince who?’ And I think Vince wasn’t used to that, and it was an unfortunate situation because he was still our best player, by far, but he wasn’t treated like our best player. You could tell something was going on.” SportsNet

For his part, Babcock claims to have been blindsided by Carter’s frustrations with the club, but if that’s true, he wasn’t paying attention, as they began to bubble late in O’Neill’s failed tenure with the Raptors. The team went 33-49 despite Carter playing 73 games, and the lost season begat the firing of Grunwald, whose relationship with his franchise player never wavered. With Grunwald and Wilkens gone, Carter began to feel isolated and expressed his concerns to Tanenbaum in April. SportsNet

Both Tanenbaum and Peddie, the president of MLSE at the time, assured their star he’d be kept in the loop on the hiring of the new GM, but all Carter heard were crickets, and it stung. Then, when Julius Erving reached out to Carter about joining the Raptors in some capacity, Carter made the introductions. But Peddie gave the NBA legend only a cursory interview at the airport, and published reports indicated Erving wasn’t really in the running. Peddie admitted he screwed that up: “I give myself low marks for keeping [Carter] informed, even by my own expectations,” he said at the time. SportsNet

Meanwhile, as the GM of the New Jersey Nets, Ed Stefanski was trying to help team president Rod Thorn solve a problem. Two years after making the NBA Finals, the Nets were crumbling, and Stefanski (who later worked for the Raptors) looked north and saw an opportunity. “You hear or read that he and the coach aren’t eye-to-eye, and you pick up the phone,” he says. “There’s nothing I did that was special. You call 30 teams, but we were fortunate.” The deal went down in 24 hours. “When I mentioned the two first-round picks, they got real excited,” says Stefanski. “I got off the phone, and the next day we completed the deal.” SportsNet

Carter didn’t always do himself favours. Being the face of the franchise suited him when he and the Raptors were ascendant and he could share the load with a veteran locker room, but the burden of it when things levelled off and the team got younger suggested he wasn’t a perfect match for the job. There were other complications: His younger brother was struggling with drug addiction and was in and out of trouble with the law; his first agent, Tank Black, ended up being convicted of fraud, and while there is no evidence he stole from Carter, each sued the other over their dealings. Carter got engaged and was divorced after barely a year of marriage. SportsNet

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