What a year it turned out to be for Vince Carter. He played relatively well in his first season for the Mavs, but it appeared that he was being asked to do too much and his impact fell off near the end of 2011-12. Fast forward one more year, Carter once again did most of the heavy lifting, especially when Dirk Nowitzki was on the shelf, but Carter never broke down. Outside of rookie scale contracts, Carter has to be one of the better bang for your buck players in the entire league.
His grit and determination really won Rick Carlisle and Mark Cuban over. He also showed that he could be a presence on the floor even on the rare nights where his shooting wasn’t on line. He took handfuls of charges over the course of the year, attacking the rim for rebounds and was a solid playmaker. Sure, he took and missed his share of shots at the end of the games, but the pros far outweigh the cons for Vince Carter this year. It will be interesting to see if the Mavs decide to keep him or see what he could fetch on the open market. One thing is for certain, Vince Carter isn’t ready to take the loss against Father Time just yet.
Here is the exit interview for Vince Carter.
Now that the season is over, how do you personally reflect on your season? “It was a good year. I pride myself on staying healthy. My goal was 82 games, but I just missed it. More than anything, I tried to remain consistent and do whatever was needed for the team each night. That’s what I wanted to do and what I wanted to take from each and every game. Of course it’s great when you score a lot of points, but being productive each and every night for the team is what my goal was.”
What would you like to see the team add next year? “We just want to get better … I’ve never been one to tell an organization where to go. I just want us to get better. I don’t want to be in this position again. I want an opportunity to play for a championship. Some of these guys around here were fortunate enough to do so. That’s my goal, and that’s what I take into the offseason.”
Was this as satisfying a year as you’ve had in quite some time? “That’s tough to say because we’re not playing in the playoffs. An atmosphere has been created here that makes it easy to come and play and be who I am, play my game … When I got here, I said I want to make the game easier for Dirk, if possible. He demands double teams and I’ve been there. If you can get him some easy shots or he can go one-on-one, why not do so? (The coaching staff) believed in my game and my ability to make plays and pass the ball to the right guy. For me, to get that opportunity was gratifying and refreshing.”
How many more years do you plan on playing? “I knew that one was coming. I don’t know. I accomplished my goal as a young rookie. I said I wanted to play 15 years … Now that 15 years is over, I woke up this morning and said, ‘I can still go. I can still play.’ I feel great … We’ll see. Some people think I could play five more years. I don’t see five years. I’ll say that, for sure. If I feel like this, three or four will feel good.”
Bryan Gutierrez writes about sportsmen. He is a contributing writer for Mavs.com. Bryan also attended Ball So Hard University. You can follow him on Twitter @BallinWithBryan.