Found January 19, 2013 on Fox Sports Florida:
As Vince Carter winds down his career, hes become an NBA vagabond. Hes been with four teams over the past five seasons, and more could be coming. But when all is through, will Carter make one more basketball stop in Springfield, Mass.? Whether the Dallas Mavericks forward will be a Hall of Famer is a question some of his current and former teammates grapple with. But its something that Carter certainly seeks. Of course, thats a goal, Carter, a Daytona Beach native who returns to his home state Sunday to face the Orlando Magic, one of his former teams. You hope Carters career is good enough. It would be a definite honor to go down into history with the greatest. I would love to be considered for the Hall of Fame . But Im still trying to finish my career. Carter, who turns 36 next Saturday, is in his 15th season, having reached a goal he once set for longevity. Carter, who has a team option on his contract next season for 3.18 million, didnt want to speculate on how many more seasons he would like to play but said he definitely plans to be around for 2013-14. I just go year-to-year, contract-to-contract, said Carter, who is averaging 12.3 points to drop his career average to 21.1. My ultimate goal coming into the NBA was to play 15 years, so here I am, Now, well see what happens. So Carter will be eligible for the Hall of Fame around the start of the next decade. Will he join Artis Gilmore and David Robinson, who was born in Key West before moving as a child, as just the third Florida native to make it? Thats a tough call, said Dallas center Chris Kaman. I lean toward yes, but then again, you never know . The cons are he never won a ring, but the pros are he had some great seasons where he really played well, went to All-Star Games, and with the amount of points hes scored. ProBasketballReference.com, which has a Hall of Fame monitor, lists Carters chances of being enshrined at 78.6 percent. But thats down from 79.1 at the start of this month, and likely will continue to fall as Carters stats drop. Using history as a gauge, Carter probably will make it to Springfield. Hes made eight NBA All-Star Games. The only eligible player to have that many selections without a Hall of Fame call is Larry Foust, a center who played from 1950-62 and averaged 13.7 points and 9.8 rebounds. Carter does come up short when it comes to All-NBA teams. He made the third team in 1999-2000 and the second team in 2000-01, and thats it. But Carter, dubbed Air Canada and Half ManHalf Amazing during his glory days with Toronto from 1998-2004, has to get some consideration for being one of the NBAs most exciting players ever. When he was the NBAs premier high-flyer, he won the 2000 All-Star dunk contest in dramatic fashion. Carter is 30th in NBA history with 21,638 points. His scoring average average of 21.1 ranks 34th, but, at his current pace, Carter would fall to 40th at the end of the season. Despite Carters gaudy average, it should be noted Bernard King still cant get into the Hall of Fame with a 22.5 career average and four appearances on All-NBA teams. And it took Adrian Dantley until his 12th year of eligibility to get in despite a 24.3 average and two scoring titles. Like fellow high-scoring small forwards King and Dantley, Carter has been thought of by some as more of an individual player whose talents didnt always make his teams better. Carter never has played in the NBA Finals and only once has gotten past the second round, that being Orlandos 4-2 loss to Boston in the 2010 Eastern Conference finals. I think it would be a little tough because he hasnt won a championship and he hasnt been to the Finals, Miami Heat forward Rashard Lewis, Carters teammate on that Magic team, said of Carter being a borderline candidate for the Hall. I think they'll (voters) look at that and use that against him that he didnt really compete for a championship. Carter has a 27-33 career record in the playoffs while having been to the postseason in just seven of his previous 14 seasons. But he did join a fourth-year Toronto team in 1998 that hardly was championship caliber. Still, the Raptors did come within one game of the East finals in 2001. But they soon fell off as a team. It will probably be tough for him to get in on the first ballot because you just got to be head and shoulders above (other candidates), said Heat forward Chris Bosh, who played with Carter in Toronto in 2003-04 and the first part of the next season and said he would give the nod to Carter if he ever had a vote. It could go (by the voters), Yeah, youre an individual player But he put the Toronto Raptors on the map. If hadnt been there, people wouldnt know who the Toronto Raptors were. After being traded by the Raptors to New Jersey in December 2004, Carter developed a rap, some of it unfair, of not being able to make teams better. The Nets had been to the Finals in 2002 and 2003 and lost in Game 7 of an East semifinal in 2004 before falling off with Carter. Carter arrived in Orlando in the summer of 2009 after the Magic had made the NBA Finals. But they couldnt get back there the next season after the Florida native had come home. Carter was dealt in December 2010 to Phoenix, which had made the West finals the previous season but then failed to make the playoffs. But that had more to do with forward Amare Stoudemire having bolted as a free agent to New York in the summer of 2010. Carter signed as a free agent before last season with the Mavericks, the defending champions who then were swept out of the first round. But that had more to do with the Dallas not bringing back the title team intact, most specifically center Tyson Chandler. Now, the Mavericks limp into Orlando with a 17-24 mark in what has become even more of a rebuilding situation. Carter can figure on a warm greeting from Magic guards Jameer Nelson and J.J. Redick, former teammates who both believe Carter one day should and will be a Hall of Famer. At the end of the day, I think hes done enough for his career to create a legacy for himself and become a Hall of Famer, Nelson said. Redick said Carters overall stats make him deserving of the Hall. But, even if his numbers have fallen off, Redick said Carter deserves props for how he has transitioned from his high-flying days. Hes handled it well, Redick said. Not every NBA superstar can handle that transition. You see guys that arent willing to accept a lesser role and then theyre out of the league. Hes still a really good NBA player, and kudos to him for kind of figuring that out. While Carter isnt the scorer he once was, those on the Mavericks say he's become more savvy and has improved his defense. While his 4.0 rebounding average over 24.9 minutes might not jump out, Carter this season actually is is on pace to average a career high in boards per minute. I still feel great, thats for sure, Carter said. But with the Mavericks in transition, time is running out for Carter to get to his first Finals. With Carter a candidate to be traded by the Feb. 21 deadline and with there being a reasonable chance his team option wont be picked up this summer, Carter is likely to at least play for a sixth overall NBA team and fifth since 2008-09. Thats something I want to do. I want to play for a championship, Carter said of being willing to hang on as a player to reach that goal. If that happens, Carter certainly would have something to add to his resume for the Hall of Fame. Chris Tomasson can be reached at christomasson@hotmail.com or on Twitter @christomasson
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Vince Carter - 1995 H.S. Slam Dunk Contest

Video: Vintage video of the greatest dunker

Mavericks finding ways to dig out of hole

"We are digging out of a hole," said Mavs coach Rick Carlisle, a truth as Dallas entered Sunday, and the second half of the NBA schedule, with a 17-24 record. But the Mavs exited Orlando with a 111-105 victory, a win that suggests that while this team remains flawed, it is at least armed with a shovel and a pickax. A few days ago, the Mavericks were 10 games below .500...

Mavs' Marion fined $25,000 for referee criticism

Dallas Mavericks forward Shawn Marion has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for publicly criticizing the officiating. Marion was quoted after the Mavericks' 117-114 overtime loss to Oklahoma City on Friday as saying that ''it's hard to beat anybody when you're playing five on eight.'' Thunder All-Star Kevin Durant was given 21 free throws, making all of...

Mavs' Marion fined $25K ripping refs

Dallas Mavericks forward Shawn Marion has been fined $25,000 by the NBA for publicly criticizing the officiating. Marion was quoted after the Mavericks' 117-114 overtime loss to Oklahoma City on Friday as saying that ''it's hard to beat anybody when you're playing five on eight.'' Thunder All-Star Kevin Durant was given 21 free throws, making all of...

Mavericks keep G James around with second 10-day contract

The Dallas Mavericks signed guard Mike James to a second 10-day contract on Friday. James had signed a 10-day contract on Jan. 8 and played in five games, averaging 1.6 points and 1.0 assists off the bench. The 10-year NBA veteran has averaged 10.3 points and 3.5 assists with a well-traveled career that has included stops in Miami, Boston, Detroit, Milwaukee, Houston, Toronto...

Mavericks Sign Mike James To 2nd 10-Day Contract

As expected, Mike James will sign a second 10-day contract with the Dallas Mavericks today. The Mavs were convinced they needed to keep James following his solid play after the point guard signed his original 10-day contract with the club on Jan. 8…“He played real solid [Wednesday] night,” coach Rick Carlisle said. “He did a lot of good things.” via Dwain Price, Star-Telegram  

Mavericks 111, Magic 105

Shawn Marion had 20 points, and O.J. Mayo and Vince Carter scored 15 apiece as the Dallas Mavericks fought off a late Orlando surge and beat the Magic 111-105 on Sunday night. The Mavericks led by 13 in the fourth quarter, before the Magic pulled within a basket in the final minute. Dallas earned its seventh straight road victory in its series against Orlando. The Mavericks now...

Mavericks hold off late Magic surge in win

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Shawn Marion had 20 points, and O.J. Mayo and Vince Carter scored 15 apiece as the Dallas Mavericks fought off a late Orlando surge and beat the Magic 111-105 on Sunday night. The Mavericks led by 13 in the fourth quarter, before the Magic pulled within a basket in the final minute. Dallas earned its seventh straight road victory in its series against Orlando...

Mavs can't finish job in OT loss to Thunder

DALLAS -- The Mavericks have "a heart of a champion," says Kevin Durant. "Dallas is a championship-level team, no matter what their record is." Ah, but OKC is a championship-level team and has the record to prove it. The Thunder downed the Mavs in a Friday night thriller, a 117-114 decision in yet another OT game, this time Durant as the tone-setter with 52 points...

In The Scrum With Shawn Marion

Shawn Marion talking to the media about being persistent during games, the progress of Dirk Nowitzki, and the importance of rest. sr_adspace_id = 1000001551307; sr_adspace_width = 728; sr_adspace_height = 90; sr_ad_new_window = true; [...]

Kevin Durant’s OT Game-Winner Vs. Dallas Mavericks (Video)

The Dallas Mavericks and the Oklahoma City Thunder squared off Friday night – and it was a thriller – it was Kevin Durant that stole the show and won the game for the Thunder. With 27 seconds left Russell Westbrook dishes the rock to Kevin Durant; Shawn Marion plays excellent defense, but with just a [...]The post Kevin Durant’s OT Game-Winner Vs. Dallas Mavericks (Video) appeared...

Dallas Mavericks are now 1-8 in overtime games for the season

After losing a heart-breaker of a game to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 111-114 in overtime, the Dallas Mavericks are now on the road to regroup the will power that got them these last 4 wins. Even though Dallas lost to Oklahoma City, it was still a good game and the Mavs didn’t give up. It took a while for some of them to warm up, but the good thing of it was that the rest of the...

Kevin Durant Drops 52, Mike James Lives For The Moment

Let it be known that in the [I tried to count all the games three times and came up with three different numbers between 500 and 700] game of the 2012/13 NBA season, Kevin Durant became the first to achieve 50 points.  Durant dropped a career-high 52, actually; 21 of which came at the free throw line (on the same number of attempts).  Shawn Marion, who gave up 17 of the 52, thought...

Magic vs Mavericks: Predictions

Tonight, at 6 p.m. EST, the Orlando Magic (14-25) will try to take down the Dallas Mavericks (17-24) at the Amway Center. This is the second game of a five game run against sub-.500 teams for the Magic. They kicked that streak off in style, losing to the team that has been the league's worst for the last two months. The Dallas Mavericks are surging once again with Dirk healthy...
NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.