I have seen, heard and spoke about Vince Carter more times in the past few weeks than I had in months going back to when he was honoured last year at the Air Canada Centre.
Most recently while I was watching Kobe Bryant’s last game in Memphis. The Black Mamba was at centre court receiving a hug and a few words from the man they once called half-man, half-amazing. Now we know for certain that Kobe will be a first ballot Hall of Famer. Of that, there can be no doubt as he has definitely solidified himself as one of the greatest of all time. In fact, there are a few who would even argue that he could be THE greatest of all time, but that my dear friends is a topic for another day.
Vince Carter has not only earned his place in the HOF, he deserves it.
The first reaction I get after making this statement is, “Really, but Vince hasn’t done anything. He is a selfish whiner who hasn’t won a championship and quit on his team.” Finally, it comes out. There is that bitterness and utter vitriol that this city spewed on Vince every time he touched the ball. For over a decade was it not only uncalled for, it was embarrassing. His brilliance on the court, that smile, and then the boos and that frown, the memories of Carter and the emotions that he brought out of us were certainly bittersweet.
But facts are facts. If we can strip away emotion from this equation, I think you’ll find there is proof enough that Vince Carter will be in the HOF. This season will be his 18th and there is talk he wants to hit 20. So far, he has played over 40,000 minutes ranking him 25th in NBA history. Out of the Top 25, there are only two players who did not make the HOF that are eligible.
In that same game against the Lakers, Vince Carter passed Charles Barkley and became the 24th highest scoring player in NBA history. Over his career to date, he is averaging 19.0 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. For those of you keeping track, out of the Top 40 scorers in NBA history, only one, count’em, one player did not make the HOF that was eligible. My apologies to Tom Chambers.
To finish off his statistics we can look at his 8 all-star appearances in which, again, out of the 56 players who have 8 or more All-Star selections, only 1 (Larry Foust of the 1950s Lakers) did not make it to the HOF.
— CJ Torres (@cjtorres7) February 18, 2016
It’s over. Have I made my point? There really is no statistical reason why Vince Carter does not belong in the NBA. But I like to live dangerously, so let’s throw all the stats away. If you want to look at ultimately what Vincesanity’s legacy will be, we need not look any further than what he has done for Basketball Canada. For the second straight year, Canada has the most players in the NBA of any country other than the US with a record tying 12.
Young players such as Andrew Wiggins, Cory Joseph, Tristan Thompson, Kelly Olynyk, Nik Stauskas, Trey Lyles and future first round draft pick Jamaal Murray, all point to watching Vince Carter as the main reason for getting into basketball.
His Airness, Vince Carter, did not only put Toronto and the Raptors on the NBA map, he (and credit to Steve Nash) are the sole reasons why the game of basketball has grown to such heights in this hockey-mad city and country.
Vince Carter is a definite future Hall of Famer, and not once did I even have to mention the word dunk.
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