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Vince Carter Broke Down The Ways The NBA Has Changed Since He Entered The League wholesale jerseys
Vince Carter has seen some stuff during his time in the NBA. Carter was drafted in the 1998 draft, and despite the fact that he’s played on seven different teams, he has spent each of the last 19 season being a person who plays professional basketball in the best league in the world for a living.
This has meant that Carter has seen just about everything over the course of his NBA career, especially when it comes to the way basketball has changed. He came into the league at a time where teams played a slower, more physical game, and is now around as pacing and spacing are the keys to success in the league.
But even beyond that, Carer has had a front row seat to watching some of the other ways that basketball is just different now, both from a style and rules perspective, and he broke them down in an absolutely tremendous three-minute video.
“Illegal defense,” Carter said. “I was a part of the old style where you could bump a guy running through the paint. Zone’s now in the game, you have guys now playing the 2, 3, 4 that are now 6’10, 6’11. You have shooting fives now.”
Carter continued to break down the way players can be a certain size and not be confined to what you’d expect for their position. He mentioned guards who rebound, along with players the size of Kevin Durant and Ben Simmons who are nearly seven feet tall but bring the ball up the floor.
There are just so many interesting things in here from the perspective of someone who has seen it all during their tenure in the league. Even something as simple as how the act of playing basketball takes a toll on your body now is different in Carter’s experience.
“Back then, they were allowed to put their hands on you, you were allowed to get chucked, you were allowed to get hit,” Carter said. “And what is considered flagrant now was common then, so it’s like, hey, get up and keep playing. Or sometimes you’d get hit, you’d look at the ref, he’s like ‘play ball.’ So it’s just a different game and I think a lot of guys mentally couldn’t take the physical beating throughout the course of an 82-game season, and it got worse in playoffs. There was such thing as regular season basketball and playoff basketball. When you get to the playoffs, that’s when you sit after the end of the season, after a playoff series, maybe that you lost, you’re like ‘I need a month just to recover from the beating.’”
Basketball has always found a way to evolve, and it’s really interesting hearing how that’s happened from someone whose NBA career began in the late-90s.
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Donovan Mitchell and Vince Carter share stories about the NBA Dunk Contest
Vince Carter was flattered that Utah Jazz rookie Donovan Mitchell paid homage to him by donning a Toronto Raptors jersey and repeating Carter’s winning dunk from the 2000 contest on his way to the 2018 Slam Dunk title.
But Carter didn’t want to talk to the media about it before he had a chance to talk to Mitchell Saturday night.
Carter is still in the NBA, playing his 20th season at the age of 41, and he was asked by one local reporter and one from Utah about Mitchell’s dunk, and his answer was the same.
“I’m not telling nobody until I talk to him,” Carter said. He was smiling when he said it, so it wasn’t like he was going to get mad at Mitchell for copying his dunk. He just wanted to talk to the Utah rookie first (because of deadlines, we weren’t able to get a comment from Carter after the game).
Mitchell did confirm after the game, that he and Carter had a good conversation before the game and that Carter was very “nice.”
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Before Saturday, Mitchell said the only interaction he ever had with Carter came before a game here in January when they joked about Carter trying a halfcourt shot during pregame warmups. He also spoke with him briefly at the NBA Draft last summer.
“At the draft — he didn’t know who I was at the time — he told us to impact the game in any way you can and leave your own legacy … and about working hard and not partying and doing things that get people in trouble. I took that to heart.”
Mitchell reiterated why he paid tribute to Carter in the dunk contest.
“I’ve been a dunker for longer than I’ve been a basketball player,” he said. “I used to watch his highlights and that dunk hadn’t been done in awhile so I figured why not. With everything he’s been doing this year at age 41 dunking and all that, it’s incredible.”
Carter, who earlier this week passed former Jazz star John Stockton to become the eighth oldest player to play in the NBA at 41 years and 36 days, was the first King off the bench, coming in at the 5:33 mark of the first quarter. He finished with six points on 2-of-8 shooting in 25 minutes
JAZZ NOTES: After averaging 18 turnovers per game since the All-Star break, the Jazz only had four in the first half and 13 for the game … Former Jazzman Kosta Koufos (2008-10) started the game and finished with eight points and seven rebounds … The Jazz will be back home for a game against Orlando Monday night and will have games every other night through March 17 when they play Sacramento again, at home … Rudy Gobert surpassed 3,000th rebounds half and because the 12th Jazz player to hit that milestone … In the only other meeting between the Kings and Jazz this year, Utah took a 120-105 victory in Sacramento on Jan. 15.