Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 2/5/12
MIAMI - A dozen years later, nothing has changed. Whenever Anthony Carter returns to Miami, he hears about the shot. In the waning seconds of overtime in Game 3 of the 2000 Eastern Conference semifinals at New York, the then Heat point guard drove baseline and released a crazy shot that appeared to go from behind the backboard and over. It hung on the rim and fell through with 2.1 seconds left, and Heat won 77-76. "Every time I come here, they talk about it," said Carter, who returned to Miami on Sunday with his latest team, Toronto. "Jose (Paneda, Heat's Spanish-language radio braodcaster) was just in (the Raptors locker room) and he was like, We still talk about it to this day.' We were trying to figure out where that shot stands in Miami history as far as being the top play in Miami history It was just crazy." The Knicks were unhappy because they believed the shot should have been ruled illegal because it came from behind the backboard. But they were complaining a lot less after they ended up winning the series 4-3. Carter played with the Heat from 1999-2003, and is now with his sixth NBA team in 13 seasons. But his days of returning to Miami as a player are winding down. "Probably one year and then I'll start coaching," Carter, 36, said of his plan to retire after next season and become an NBA assistant. Carter, who played with Denver from 2006-11, said he's already had conversations with Nuggets coach George Karl about eventually joining his staff. He's also talked to some former players about making the immediate transition to a role as an assistant. "Me and George have been talking about it for the last two years about me coaching with him, so I'm looking forward to that experience and that challenge," Carter said. "I've been talking to Sam Cassell (of Washington) about how it is, and with Tyronn Lue with Boston. Those are guys who I played (against)." Carter still has fond memories of Miami. The Heat gave him his first NBA opportunity after he had gone undrafted in 1998 and played minor-league ball. "It was a great experience," said Carter, who averaged 5.5 points and 4.3 assists as a part-time starter in his four seasons. "I always thank Pat Riley (Heat president and then Carter's coach) every time I see him. And (Heat owner) Micky Arison, I come over and speak to (Arison's family) every time I come here." Carter's Miami tenure didn't end well but he bears no animosity. In the summer of 2003, due to a problem in the office of Bill Duffy, Carter's agent, his 4.1 million player option was not picked up and he became a free agent. Duffy has said it was because the individual in charge of picking up the option had a serious health issue. Carter never would make even half that amount again in an NBA season, and the Heat would use the extra salary-cap room they got to sign free agent Lamar Odom. One year later, Odom was packaged in a deal to the Lakers for Shaquille O'Neal, leading some to say Carter becoming a free agent indirectly led to Miami's 2006 title. "It doesn't bother me," Carter said. "Everything happened for a reason. If that was the reason why they won a championship, congratulations. But, at the end of the day, something just got missed up and everything got resolved." Carter said he will end up being repaid the amount he lost by Duffy's agency over a number of years. But he wouldn't give specifics. "Me and my agent worked it out, and that was it," Carter said. "And nothing against the Heat and nothing against my agent We're just doing it over an amount of years." For now, the years are winding down for Carter as a player. The third-string point guard entered Sunday averaging 1.8 points and 1.3 assists in a career-low 8.3 minutes over 15 games. Carter always has been regarded as a coach in shorts. Raptors coach Dwane Casey figures he'll easily be able to make the transition to one who wears a suit. "I think A.C. could be really good coach," Casey said. "He knows the game. He's got to pay his dues, and he's willing to do that. He has a good feel for the game. He's a point guard who knows all the positions." If it doesn't end up working out with the Nuggets, Carter said he'd consider other coaching options. While he there have been no discussions, he said he would have interest in the Heat. "It just feels good to be loved where you played and not get booed and be hated on," Carter said about always having been welcomed warmly in trips back to Miami. With a shot like the one Carter hit, it's no surprise. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson
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