HoopsHype Vince Carter rumors

January 25, 2014 Updates

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

Life was happening—he was injured and the team was struggling. Carter retreated into himself: “I used to say, ‘[How do I] map out a way to get through that and still do the things I’m doing—and still be a professional athlete? Who can give me that advice? I can’t go sit on the beach somewhere—I have to go to practice.’ It just didn’t fit. I would try to take the advice I was getting and mould it so it would suit me, but it wasn’t much.” SportsNet

Oh, and it’s also worth noting, the subject of all that scorn? His arms are wide open. Mention the possibility of the franchise honouring his jersey or even retiring his number and his face lights up. The Raptors’ 20th anniversary is approaching and the team’s newly appointed global ambassador, Drake, is both an acquaintance of Carter’s and, at 27, was a huge fan in his teenage years. “That’s definitely up to the organization,” Carter says of the Raptors making a formal recognition of his time in Toronto. “But I would be honoured. It would be one of the best moments of my life next to my degree and my child.” SportsNet

January 22, 2014 Updates

Should the Raptors retire Carter’s No. 15? Should they at least hang a banner to honour him, as the Maple Leafs have done with several players? This conversation will happen every year until Carter decides he is done with playing. “You guys are retiring me before I’m ready to retire,” Carter said Wednesday morning. His Mavericks make their only appearance in Toronto on Wednesday night. “No, I’m not ready for that, yet.” National Post

“It was just a thing that happened,” Carter said of his breakup with the Raptors on Wednesday. “Some people feel like it was my fault. Some people feel like it was the organization. I hate that it happened for numerous … reasons. The franchise was on the rise there. At the same time they were trying to go in a different direction, I think. … As we’ve moved forward, a lot of things have come out and we kind of see what’s going on. It was just an ugly situation that happened that you can’t change now. As you move forward, you try to change it and try to make it right. … I don’t really like to quote the Bible and stuff because some people don’t believe in it — you’re taught to forgive and move on. It’s been a long time. Everybody’s grown up. Everybody’s moving forward. The organization has changed here. I’ve gotten older and moved on. It’s just like, hey, let’s remember what was important at the time: winning basketball and really striking the mood here and understanding that this a fun place to be, a fun place to play. A lot of people didn’t know it. Once the boom happened, meaning that wonderful night in February [the 2000 slam dunk contest], the recognition began. I think everywhere, it runs its course; time runs its course.” National Post

December 28, 2013 Updates
November 22, 2013 Updates
November 21, 2013 Updates

Vince Carter and Dwight Howard have a relationship outside of the NBA. Both players are Orlando residents, were team-mates on the Magic and even compete in pick-up games together in the summer. That said, Carter believes Howard is the biggest 'cry-baby' he's seen in basketball. He was as blunt as possible in describing Howard's complaining to ESPNDallas.com. “All the time,” Carter said of Howard’s complaining to referees. Sportal

“He always talks about how I’m a cry-baby. I was like, ‘Yo, you’re the biggest cry-baby I know.’ And then later, he’s like, ‘Yo, why’d you say that to me?’ But I know Dwight. It’s all good, but he is [a cry-baby]. “I mean, he takes a lot of punishment, but I’m like, ‘Yo, c’mon Dwight, c’mon. You elbowed, you’re sitting in the paint the entire time. What are you whining about?’ He told me to stop crying. I was like, ‘What? Are you serious?’” Sportal

November 8, 2013 Updates
November 7, 2013 Updates

Given that it's well past quitting time on the East Coast, it appears that the NBA will wait until Friday to announce any further penalties against Vince Carter, if any are forthcoming. Carter lost his cool in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, planting a hard forearm and elbow to the head of Thunder rookie Steven Adams in the third quarter and was ejected from the game. The NBA was quiet on Thursday, but it would be no surprise if the league suspended Carter for Friday's game at Minnesota. League rules are clear that anybody who throws an elbow or punch at another player, whether it lands or not, will be suspended for at least one game without pay. Dallas Morning News

Carter got tangled up with Thunder rookie center Steven Adams under the basket with 4:01 to go in the third quarter. Adams instigated the tussle when he delivered a shove to Carter's neck area. But Carter, who has been in the league 16 seasons and usually keeps his cool, unleashed a sharp forearm or elbow to the neck and head of Adams. Carter got a flagrant foul, penalty two, for the play and was ejected from the game. Further penalties could be coming from the league office, which reviews all flagrant fouls. A suspension is not out of the question. Afterward, Carter was upset with his emotional lapse. Dallas Morning News

"I just want to apologize to the fans of both sides," he said. "There's no need for it. They're trying to clean up the game and make it fun for fans to watch. It was one of those things where I got caught in the moment and reacted to a reaction that was done to you. My intentions have never been that way. It's just one of those things." Asked if he thought the league would suspend him, Carter said: "It is what it is. There's nothing you can do. I hurt my team giving up free throws and points, so, I just have to deal with the consequences and move forward. It happened. Sometimes when you do something like that, you wish you could take it back. It was a physical game. We have a lot of history. All of them have been chippy and edgy." Dallas Morning News

Any rumor missing? E-mail us at   hoopshype@hoopshype.com.