Will Vince Carter make it to the NBA Hall of Fame?
Vince Carter left Orlando a month ago, sent by the Magic to Phoenix in a blockbuster deal. But his basketball legacy is still undecided at this point!
Carter, now 34 and in his 13th NBA season, surpassed 20,000 career points with 29 in a win over the Knicks Monday to become only the 37th player in NBA history to reach this plateau. The 6-foot-6 guard had 20,020 points going into a yesterday's games.
I thought when Vince Carter joined the Toronto Raptors, that he would be an electric player who would help sell basketball in Canada. He definitely was electric, by winning the NBA Rookie of the Year Award, an All Star Slam Dunk Contest and most importantly, helping the team win a first round playoff series against the Knicks in 2000-01. He lasted about six years on the Raptors, before demanding a trade that sent him to the New Jersey Nets. Carter had a stellar international achievement by helping the US earn a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Summer Olympics. Finally, he has been selected by the fans to 8 All Star games throughout his career.
However, is the 20,000 points plateau enough for induction? 34 of the 36 players ahead of him with 20,000 + points, are currently Hall of Famers or will be inevitably (i.e Kobe Bryant, Shaq, Pierce etc). Honestly, Mitch Richmond and Tom Chambers are on that 20,000 + list and they are not even close to being Hall of Famers. I think when you examine a career of any player, you have to look at individual and team accomplishments, but specifically, accomplishments that set apart the "great" from the "good". When you do that, Carter should not be inducted. He has never won an NBA title, he has never won an NBA scoring title, and ultimately, I don't think that he was ever the difference maker that put a team over the top. He will always be remembered as the guy that always cried down the court when he didn't get a foul called his way and for letting his team down by attending his graduation on the day that the Raptors played Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Semi-final against the 76ers. You can't perform in a game when you have been on a plane all day and Vince should have known that or cared. It has always been about Vince, and only Vince. That's why his teams have never achieved the ultimate heights with him on the team.
I think when all is said and done, Vince Carter will be known as the "best player not in the basketball hall of fame".