Vince Carter Explains the Hot Start in Dallas and Says He Has No Hard Feelings Toward the Toronto Raptors

November 7, 2012 – 11:00 am by Chris Fedor

At 35-years-old, Vince Carter is currently playing with his fifth NBA team. Dallas may end up being his final stop during his NBA journey but for V.C. everything got started in Toronto where it looked like the Raptors had a championship caliber team with him and Tracy McGrady. Unfortunately things didn’t go as planned and since leaving Toronto the playoff failures have followed Carter. Maybe he will have a few more chances in Dallas. It’s only been four games this season but the Mavericks are off to a surprising 3-1 start despite playing without Dirk Nowitzki. The Mavs made a lot of changes this offseason to try to make a return to the playoffs. For Vince Carter, he may not have too many more opportunities to capture that elusive NBA Championship.

Vince Carter joined The Fan 590 in Toronto with Tim and Sid to talk about how the Mavericks have played so well despite the injury to Dirk Nowitzki, how he would describe his game right now, on adjusting to his role of coming off the bench in Dallas, on his time in Toronto with Tracy McGrady and what he would say if the Raptors told him they would like to retire his number.

How the team has started so well despite the injury to Dirk Nowitzki:

“Playing within the system. Guys believing and I think the biggest thing is that we know he’s out so we have to play and out-execute teams. We just have to play harder and play together. It can’t be about shots, it’s just whoever is open be ready to shoot and that’s the success. There’s no other rhyme or reason to it other than that.”

How he would describe his game right now:

“Patient, smarter, just at the end of the game I just have to break the game down and have to outsmart my opponent. I feel like by helping the younger guys it helps me to see different things. I’m in pretty good shape, I’ve been busting my butt this summer just making sure I’m prepared and it’s been great for me.”

On coming off the bench:

“I’m okay with that. When I got here I told coach, I said ‘hey whatever you need me to do I’m willing to do it.’ It’s about winning right now and all the other stuff doesn’t matter. I think the biggest adjustment is coming in ready. It’s one thing for all my career I just starting, starting so you can work your way into the game and you know that you have time to kind of get going. When you’re coming off the bench you have to be ready to go plain and simple and it’s a new challenge for me that I kind of embraced and accepted and I’m working through it pretty well.”

On falling short while he was in Toronto with Tracy McGrady:

“It’s not even about that. We wish we could’ve made things happen but it’s like everybody is allowed to choose their path and I think guys are criticized for wanting to choose their path or what they feel is best for them at the time. It’s not a regret where at the time you felt it was the right thing. He felt like it was time to go on and flourish into the Tracy McGrady that we know now and so on and so forth. It’s just so weird that people say that or whatever may be. In the real world if people choose to move on for a better life, for more money, better family situation, better working situation every day and they’re applauded, not criticized for it. I get it, it’s sports and I love my team, I’m a die hard so I get it, it’s just sometimes it makes you say hmm. I don’t understand it all the time but it just comes with the territory.”

What he would say if the Toronto Raptors wanted to retire his jersey in the future:

“I’d do it without a shadow of a doubt. There’s nothing to think about. People are like ‘oh he left, he hated Toronto.’ I did not hate Toronto. I love it to this day. I still have friends there and I don’t get to make it as much because I have a child where she takes my summer time now but I grew up there, I became who I am today right there in Toronto. Toronto gave me my opportunity to be a basketball player, to fulfill a dream, I won Rookie of the Year there, I won the Dunk Contest there and I’ve done all the wonderful things, my career highs all come in that uniform. Nothing can replace that, nothing. To be honored that way, absolutely because that’s where it started. If they said that they wouldn’t even be able to get that question out all the way. Yes. That’s an honor. All the things that I’ve accomplished and all the things I’ve been through, the farthest I’ve ever gone in my playoff history was with the Orlando Magic but nothing tops my first start, where it all started. That’s where I became a player. I have no ill feelings, I’m very appreciative of the organization and I saw Jay Triano just last night, one of the people that I love so much. He’s a great coach and a great guy and we quickly reminisced. I just think people don’t get the full story and everybody has gathered their opinion over the years and just feel like I hate Toronto but I love it. The phrase don’t forget where you came from. In a basketball that’s where I came from and that’s where it all started.”

Listen to Vince Carter on the Fan 590 in Toronto here

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