So one day, in Toronto, where he had gathered then-rookie Mo Peterson and a few other teammates after practice, Carter got a ball, lined up his tall teammates and tried to jump over them as he did so easily over 7-foot-2 France center Frédéric Weis in Sydney. He’d try it again and again — each time with a different result than the original. “We’d mess around in practice, and I’d try to jump over them,” Carter said. “I’d trip over guys or fall. “I just could never do it the same.” In fact, he never did it again, and in the 15 years since, neither has anybody else.
The dunk sequence began when Payton drove and missed a contested layup with 16 minutes, 8 seconds left and Team USA ahead by 15. Vin Baker missed the putback attempt as Garnett and Allen retreated in transition defense. France grabbed the loose ball near the free throw line. But Carter lunged on the left wing to steal France forward Yann Bonato’s errant behind-the-back outlet pass. Carter then eyed the rim and sized up a slow-reacting Weis, France’s last line of defense in the lane. Frédéric Weis, France national team center 2000-07: I don’t remember anything. I had my eyes closed [laughs]. I wouldn’t move, for sure. Vince Carter: I knew I was in position to jump the pass and get the steal. Once I got it, it was one, two … and that’s it. There it was. So I get the steal. I remember taking the first dribble and the second dribble, just trying to gauge what [Weis] was going to do.