The Grizzlies veteran is annoyed that nobody went to him to clarify the situation
Back in February, Vince Carter joked in an interview that it was “possible” that he could “make it interesting” if he competed in the NBA dunk contest again, but in no way said that he had plans to do so. On Oct. 16, WeDon’tBluff.net uploaded a video of the exchange, and various outlets — Sports Illustrated, SLAM, Yahoo Sports and Fox Sports, to name a few — treated it as if it was news. Many of them speculated that he might actually want to participate in February at the age of 40.
Carter has remained consistent since his iconic 2000 dunk contest performance in saying that he’s never going to do it again, so he was understandably annoyed by all of this. In an interview with NBA.com’s Lang Whitaker, he said he wished someone had just asked him to clarify the situation:
“I heard about that video way after the fact,” Carter says, sitting courtside at Madison Square Garden recently. “All of a sudden people were like, ‘You’re in the dunk contest?’ I was like, ‘Where is this coming from?’ Whatever clown that reported it, it’s like, just call the source first. Just ask me! Come to any training camp and ask me.”
“In the video, I never said I was going to be in the 2017 Dunk Contest. That interview was from last year, and the guy had asked me about P3 Training Camp, where they had the vertical leap photo of me and [Andrew] Wiggins.”
“Also, look at that video: I had on a sweater in the summer? Everybody analyzes everything about a video, picture, whatever. Why don’t they do the same with this? I had a sweater on at training camp?”
Can Vince even still perform any of the dunks he threw down in the 2000 Dunk Contest?
“I could probably do one, and I’d probably need a day before I’d do another. I could do some stuff, but not enough to win a dunk contest. With what these guys are doing now? Yeah, right.”
The thing is, this whole thing makes a certain sense: Fans were willing to believe Vince may be back because, after all, this is still Vince Carter that we’re talking about. Following that incredible 2000 Dunk Contest, Vince walked away from dunk contests leaving the crowd wanting more, a thirst that apparently remains unquenched.
“I get all of that,” Carter allows. “I’m just like, this is frustrating. I’ve never even talked about it. I didn’t even say that I would win it. I didn’t even say that I would compete in it. And why would I want to mess with the memory of that magical night back in 2000?”
Vince Carter wants to be clear: he’s not doing the dunk contest again.
Carter might be the most athletic player at his age in NBA history. He still routinely does 360s and windmills in warmups. He’s definitely the only guy to have dunked on both Alonzo Mourning and Rudy Gobert. In the Grizzlies’ season opener, Carter showed he has the quickness and smarts to stick with Andrew Wiggins, the 21-year-old future star who grew up idolizing him. If he had indeed decided to do a second NBA dunk contest 17 years after his first, it wouldn’t be completely laughable. That’s why the story spread the way it did, even though Carter rightly pointed out that it never made sense.