Carter also had a reputation as an excellent scorer in his first seven seasons, all spent with the Toronto Raptors, but his work above the rim was what made him stand out. He won the Slam Dunk Contest in 2000 and thus earned nicknames like "Air Canada" and "Vinsanity."
Unfortunately, age caught up with Carter, as it does with most dunkers. At age 35, most of his athleticism has deserted him, and he now serves as a shooter for the Dallas Mavericks.
That is, he did until Tuesday night.
The struggling Mavericks took on the lowly Washington Wizards at the Verizon Center Tuesday, and fans got one hell of a treat. On two separate occasions, the old Vince Carter came out to play.
The first instance occurred in the first quarter, with the Mavericks trailing 10-4. Following a missed jumper by teammate O.J. Mayo, Carter came out of nowhere to jump up and make the putback slam over the Wizards' Martell Webster.
The greater slam, however, came late in the fourth quarter. Dallas led 99-92 at this point and basically had the game in the bag. All Washington could really hope for was for one of their players to pull off a Reggie Miller miracle, but Carter would make sure that didn't happen.
On this possession, Carter was like his old self again. Instead of just getting open and waiting for the ball to come to him, he took this opportunity himself and unleashed an incredible tomahawk jam. The crazy part is that he was virtually untouched in his effort.
Dallas ended up winning 103-94, and Carter led the way with 23 points. It was nice to see him have such a productive game after being on the decline the past few seasons, but even better were his dunks. It was his own special way of saying, "Don't worry, fans. I've still got it!"
His Mavericks may be struggling mightily, but at least Carter still has enough of the old lightning left to keep the team's fans interested. In doing this, he can certainly go out with a bang once it's time for him to call it a career.
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