Everyone Hates Vince Carter

I am not the biggest Vince Carter fan in the world, bit I just don’t get when so-called NBA experts consistently hammer Vince as if he is the worst player on the planet. For example, here is a recent quote from Bill Simmons aka ESPN’s Sports Guy:

“I don’t blame Kidd for throwing a hissy fit — I would have done the same if I had to play with Vince Carter.”

Vince Carter

Stop smiling Vince, don’t you know the media and fans hate you.

Of course, there were 5 more derogatory jabs at Vince in this article so that Simmons could meet his anti-Vince quota. And he is not the only one. Virtually everyone is convinced that Vince Carter is a terrible basketball player, worthless human being and overall piece of garbage. Sure he’s done a few bonehead things (most notably, pouting for the first 20 games in Toronto during the 04-05 season) and he hasn’t won that many playoff games. Although, he has won 3 more playoff series than Yao Ming, Tracy McGrady and Carmelo Anthony combined.

But did this guy steal change from handicapped children or something that I missed? There are a number of players who are terrible guys in the NBA and there are a lot of players making WAY too much money given their performance. Guys who are way worse than Vince and guys who are way more overpaid. Why Vince gets treated so poorly by virtually the entire media just baffles me. I think its just lazy journalists taking the easy road. Its easy to just blame Vince because everyone will accept it.

Well, lets take an unbiased look at the effect Vince has had on each team he has played on since 2002-2003. The stat I want to use is adjusted +/-. According to www.82games.com: “Adjusted +/- ratings indicate how many additional points are contributed to a team’s scoring margin by a given player in comparison to the league-average player over the span of a typical game (100 offensive and defensive possessions).” Basically, it is a statistic used to measure each players effect on his team’s performance when he is in the game. For example… If a player had an adjusted +/- of +2.0 while he was on court and -2.0 off court that would give him a net adjusted +/- of +4.0. Obviously, the higher your net adjusted +/-, the more important you are to your team’s success. Lets look how Carter stacks up…

2002-2003 – On Court: -0.4, Off Court: – 9.0, Net: +8.6 (1st on team)
Vince missed a lot of time this year, but was still easily the Raptors most effective player at +8.6. The Raptors were about average when he was on the court (-0.4) and completely terrible when he was not (-9.0). Closest player on team to Carter was Antonio Davis at +6.6.

2003-2004 – On Court: -0.1, Off Court: – 9.6, Net: +9.4 (1st on team)
Basically the same story as last except Carter didn’t miss any time. His +9.4 was more than double any other Raptor… and Toronto fans wonder why Vince wanted to leave?

2004-2005 – On Court: +3.3, Off Court: – 7.6, Net: +10.9 (3rd on team)
Clearly Carter was having a great positive effect on his new team (now the Nets). He was behind Kidd (who was 2nd in the NBA to Tim Duncan) and 0.2 behind Jason Collins. Richard Jefferson… how about -4.3? Of course, in 20 games with the Raptors Carter was horrible at -8.3. You could easily make a case that Carter mailed it in (he basically admitted to)… and I’m sure thats why Raptors fans hate him!

2005-2006 – On Court: +5.4, Off Court: – 10.1, Net: +15.5 (1st on team)
Only Dwyane Wade at +15.8 had a better net rating than Carter.

2006-2007 – On Court: +0.8, Off Court: – 6.6, Net: +7.4 (2nd on team)
Kidd had a slightly higher net (+8.3) but Carter is clearly still a very effective player. A lot more effective than say Richard Jefferson at +2.1. Have you ever heard anyone say anything bad about Jefferson? Me neither. But Carter is a much more effective player.

2007-2008 – On Court: -2.2, Off Court: – 11.7, Net: +9.5 (1st on team)
Once again, Carter is the statistically the most effective player on his team. Kidd is +5.6 and Jefferson is -0.2. But Vince Carter is the problem?

(**All stats from 82Games)

Vince Carter and Richard Jefferson
One of these guys is clearly a better player than the other

So to recap, over the past 6 years, Vince has had at least a +7.4 net adjusted +/-, leading his team during 4 seasons with a high of +15.5, when he was second in the league. So why wouldn’t players want to play with him? Clearly teams are much better when Vince is on the court. Could anyone even argue against that? The goal of each basketball game is to outscore your opponents and when Vince is on the court, he has given his team a MUCH better chance to win. The only downpoint is the 20 game stretch of horrible basketball to start the 04-05 season.

Now I am not saying that Carter is an angel or that he didn’t mail it in in those 20 games for the Raptors. But for the hate this guy gets you would think that it was him, not Kidd, who beat his wife. How many DUIs does Carter have? How many strip club shootings? Hell, was it him or Chauncey Billups that raped* that woman back in 1999? (*Allegedly).

As far as Bill Simmons goes, he seemed a lot more knowledgeable about the NBA a few years back. I actually love Simmons’ articles and he’s my favorite sports writer. But I just really question some of his comments recently on the NBA. He actually like the Shaq/Marion deal for the Suns? Seriously?! And why hammer Carter in every column?

Why not take shots at the wildly overrated Carmelo Anthony? Not only does ‘Melo participate in gang sponsored “Stop Snitching” videos and sucker punch guys then run away, but he doesn’t even try on defense. Literally he is lost on defense AND he gives no effort. Not only that, but he has shown no willingness to improve his defense yet in his career. You want to talk about an overrated, overpaid bad off-court guy, there he is. How about these adjusted +/- rating for Carmelo the past 3 years… -0.5, +0.2, and +0.6. And he’s a All-Star starter in the loaded West? Give me a break! Of course, no sports writer will ever bring this up.

Danny Granger

Alright, I am just rambling at this point. If anyone has actually read this far, I will just add this… Simmons’ boy Danny Granger (who, for whatever reason, he thinks is the greatest player since Larry Bird) has the following net adjusted +/- for his career so far: -6.1, -0.4 and -6.5. So when Granger is on the court, the Pacers are clearly a worse team than when he is off the court. And the Pacers are terrible, so what does that say about Granger? You really think that Larry Bird is drunk dialing other GMs because he drafted this guy? You have got to be kidding me. I’d take Carter over Granger as a player (this season) and its not even close.

OK, enough of this… time to watch Lost.

EDIT(Added on 2/29):
Vince makes $13.3 mil this year, the 31st highest paid player in the league. Is he overpaid? Probably a little. Check out some of these other salaries though…

Shaq – $20.0M
Jermaine O’Neal – $19.7M
Stephon Marbury – $19.0M
Chris Webber – $19.0M
Michael Finley – $18.6M
Ben Wallace – $15.5M
Rashard Lewis – $14.9M (that he signed this year!)
Mike Bibby – $13.5M
Zach Randolph -$13.3M
Kenyon Martin – $13.3M
Wally Szczerbiak – $12.8M
Raef LaFrentz – $12.8M
Larry Hughes – $12.0M
Theo Ratliff – $11.7M
Kirk Hinrich – $11.3M
Erick Dampier – $10.6
Bobby Simmons – $9.3M (another Bill Simmons’ guy)
Troy Murphy – $9.2M
Kwame Brown – $9.1M
Eddy Curry – $8.9M
Adonal Foyle – $8.9M
Jason Williams – $8.9M
Nene – $8.8M

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32 Responses

  1. I was seriously going to write this exact same blog tomorrow. Wow.

    The other point I would like to add is that guys like Shaq can mail itin for the first fourth of each season. Shaq’s “get out of jail free card” are his rings.

    For a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately society, it’s a very weird concept.

  2. Vinsanity is nasty. He’s a decent team player on the floor, a freak athelete, and has a legit natural shooting touch, which many guys have to create… see Jordan. Vince is no Jordan, Jordan was a legend, maybe the most overrated player ever other than Antoine Walker, but still a legend. However, Vince would dominate Jordan in a dunk contest… yes dominate. Vince still has the all time greatest dunk contest performance. A close second was ‘Nique when he was robbed by the judges that handed it to Jordan in his own arena. Foul line dunk? More overrated than the dunker himself. Anywho, the only way Vince would be much better would be if he DID steal change from handicapped children… while donning a chickensuit!

    Joe Whalen

  3. well, according to the stats, he is indeed very effective as a player, but when you watched him play before kidd left the nets, you could actually see his sluggishness, he refused to drive hard to the hoop, opting for jumpers instead. but since kidd’s departure, carter has been re-vitalized and is playing at a higher level. now it makes me wonder if it was kidd’s fault that carter was playing lazy basketball in new jersey.

  4. i have to say vc is a passionate man now. he’s playing with meaning and most of all heart. it’s great to see.

  5. Re: KL

    Thats an excellent point on Shaq. Who has mailed in more games than the Big Cactus?

    Re: fouled out

    I disagree somewhat on Vince driving to the basket. I think people see his athleticism and think he should be blowing by people, but thats not his game. He’s not Paul Pierce. I think Vince is at his worst when he’s forcing the drive… settling for jumpers is not such a bad thing, when those are good shots. Vince is a great shooter. When he takes fade-away jumpers with a guy in his face, thats a problem.

  6. Nice rant “Joe Whalen”… though we both know that ‘Toine is the man!

  7. [...] – Str8hoops [...]

  8. when your team gives a guy a max contract we expect him to not whine and pout cuz of mismanagement
    AND then make personnel suggestions (Milt palacio) who SUCKs FYI and forces toronto to overpay role players because he wants them on the team
    and proceeds to abandon them when things don’t pan out

  9. The one big thing all of this forgets is the ‘human’ element involved. Sure, Vince might be awesome on the floor, but:

    a) He is a tough player to cheer for now that he rarely dunks and is an admitted quitter
    b) His inconsistent effort (stats might not show it, but watch some games) probably drives teammates crazy

    That may not show up in +/-, but if the debate is ‘why players wouldn’t like playing with Vince’ you have to at least consider the off-court effect.

    Great article though, and even as a Raps fan I agree that he is over-hated.

  10. This is the problem with Vince, his talent is off the charts (no lower than top three with Kobe and MAYBE T-Mac ahead of him) but he’s not mentioned among the top ten players in the league. Kobe has lived up to expectations, TMac? not so much…he hasnt even gotten out of the first round. Does he get a pass? Yes, because no one expects him to do much of anything anymore, he’s known as a great talent that cant get out of the first round. Vince gave the league a glimpse of greatness, he won dunk contests, hit game winners, took his team deep into the playoffs (that AI vs. Vince series where they traded 50 + games during the series was an incredible individual show)…Next thing you know, hes not producing offensivly like he should, and his team is horrible AND hes pouting…. If you dont remember everyone was slobbing Vince up and down about how great he was and comparing him to Jordan. Journalist are not lazy, they’re mad that vince turned out to be a good player and not a great one. They feel cheated. He gave everyone so much too soon. He went from the NBA posterchild/Next Jordan/Dominque to being crucified by the media for not giving up his starting all-star spot to Jordan. Is it unfair yes, but it is what it is. I am a vince hater…but i do feel sorry for him sometimes…

  11. I feel sorry then I remember he’s making millions a year so it’s expected

    either way althletes should be respected or hated not idolized
    and…….. “in Vince we hate” LOL

  12. I think people are too quick to judge Vince’s heart. Sure, in the Raptors situation he acted childish, but as a Net, Vince has been much more mature and a smarter player. He really does want to help his team, so if he misses his first few shots, he stops taking them. The problem with this is that all the fans just see him as a scoring machine, so they want him to keep trying to score, but if you really watch, he tries to get his teammates involved a lot. I think he just gets down on himself and feels the best way to help his team is to distribute the ball. I think he even gets rid of the ball too much sometimes, but that’s just the way he is. People say he’s a “selfish player,” but I say it’s just the opposite, he tends to be too UNselfish.
    You simply can NOT blame him for not living up to the expectations. They were dubbing him the “next Jordan!” NO ONE could live up to that.

  13. Vince is a great player and you can’t say he’s overpaid. His numbers are down this season but overall he’s done a great job with the Nets and that’s what we should be looking at.

  14. Vince is a great athlete and if he wanted to he could be one of the best ever.

    I just don’t think he has that personality and we can’t really knock him for being someone he is not.

    Being the man in Toronto was as great for him as it was bad.

    If he came in the NBA and played on a team with a guy who loved the spotlight and had that killer attitude, Vince would of been okay.

    But I have to admit as a Raptors fan his face makes my blood boil.

    He will always be a great basketball player but never a winner.

    Nice blog

  15. Str8Hoops:

    Mind if I add you to my blogroll? I’m at http://feetinthepaint.wordpress.com

    Let me know. Thanks.

  16. Sure KL. I’ll do the same.

    I like the blog and good luck!

  17. Thanks everyone for all the great comments. I think a lot you get exactly where I am coming from with this and somewhat agree with me. Vince isn’t perfect, has done some boneheaded things, didn’t quite live up to unrealistic expectations and doesn’t seem like the most likable guy.

    But, he has been and still is a very effective player and as Blake said he is “over-hated” (great term by the way). Its just I never hear one good thing said about Vince so with this post I thought I would actually defend Vince.

  18. Vince Carter is one of the best active players in NBA and everyone LOVES Vince

  19. Hey Str8,

    I just came upon this article and got me thinking exactly why I hate Vince, as a Raps fan.

    He was SOooooOoo good! The effortless way he flipped in one handers around the rim was eye-popping. When he was on there was nothing a team could do to stop him – ‘nique with a 3-point shot and a knack for game-winning shots. Everything just came easy to him.

    So, on to why I hate him:
    1) As mentioned above, a terrible waste of talent. In 2000 it was ‘Vince or Kobe’? Laughable now.
    2) We loved him – he didn’t love us back. Vince had a flair for the amazing, but always shied away from the spotlight and shrugged his shoulders. The way he preened after a dunk suggested he enjoyed the spotlight – but it wasn’t to be. He had a Lebron-esque painting on a building here… We sold out every one of his charity games… Knowing that we loved the dunks he’d like to shoot layups on fast breaks and once vowed not to dunk anymore (probably just exasperated by the press asking about the dunking-but still)
    3) Lack of heart. In a hockey city, seeing Vince crumple to the floor time after time as if he had been shot was simply embarassing. When the going got tough, Vince would take fadeaway jumpers instead of dominating the paint with his athleticism.
    4) Related to the lack of heart, is the lack of a killer instinct. Vince often looked disinterested, or lazy – settling for fadeaways. Would wait maddeningly until the 4th quarter to start playing. Again, he fooled us because of his stone-cold-killer clutch shooting.
    5) Inability to prioritize (related to lack of heart, killer instinct, and not loving TO). Game 7 of the Philly series and Vince flies to UNC to take part in convocation.
    6) Fraternizing with the enemy (related to lack of heart/killer instinct). Vince could often be seen smiling and laughing with opponents during a game – even as his team was getting smacked around – a true betrayal. During the 1st Knicks series (which the Raps got swept in 3 games in), he butted into the Knicks’ prayer circle. Imagine Jordan or Isiah doing something like that?
    7) Because everyone knows it hurts him. Most players would be indifferent, angry or defiant about booing and negative press. Vince, the soft-hearted sucker he is (see his divorce), takes it personally.
    8) To remind him of how good he had it. He seemed to shrug off all the attention from the media and fans and almost wanted to do the opposite of what everyone wanted him to (see the dunking, for example). He need(s)(ed) to know how lucky he was to have the whole world adoring him.

    But the bottom line is, it’s just because of how good he was. Those weren’t unrealistic expectations at the time. He was that good. Watch the 2001 playoff series with the Knicks. Against a fierce defensive Knicks team, every single play started with an iso for Vince. If you look at that roster, there isn’t one other player who was an above-average starter in the NBA. Antonio Davis was probably the closest thing, but his stats before and after his Vince days indicate that he wasn’t great either. His talent is so tantalizing you want to rest all your hopes on him, but as soon as you do, he gives way…

    How could you be so great and yet so naive and foolish? I mean, he didn’t get messed up in drugs, grow fat, become alcoholic, etc. etc.

    I could go on, but I’ll sleep instead. Bill Simmons is the only one who really understands… and Jason Kidd and Charles Oakley.

  20. And just to follow up: Who do you hate more – the ugly girl who keeps following you around and smells (all those ‘evil’ NBA players); or the incredibly hot, smart, friendly girl who you were dating and she kept promising you she’d marry you after college but ends up a call girl instead(Vince)?

  21. Vince carter is amazing. sure he might be not playing so good this season or when he was in the Raptors, but ever since he joined the nets, he was almost the best basketball player on earth.plus watch some VC videos on youtube. ull see wat im talkin about

  22. vince carter is hated for no reason at all -he was compared to the greatest of all time when he went to north carolina all he wanted to be was himself he said he didnt want to be compared to jordan anymore that is fair see as great as kobe is too he is still being compared to jordan he will never have his own identity at least carter has his and he can dominate a game whenever he wants i think he just gets bored at being able to dominate whenever he wants plus his stats are the best in his career ThIS year his assist rebounds and field % are his best ever he is not Overated he is hated because he refused to be treated like kordan he is still one of the best ever he just doesnt like to be adored like that he wants to be normal with an immortal talent and gifts their is nothing wrong with that he is NOT Jesus

  23. Young black men that are not thuggish are never treated fairly. NEXT!!!!!

  24. i will kick your ass you asshole
    vince is the best player in the nba so shut up you ashole

  25. GreAT blog I FEEl WERE YOU GOINg WITh IT I IDOLIZED CARTER AS A KID HE HAS SUCh TALENT AND ITS UNFAIR BEING COMPARED TO JORDAN EVERYONE JUMPS ON VINCE BUT HOW ABOUT HOW JASON KIdD CaNT HIT A JUMPER AND Rj BEING A PUNK..BUt aS NETS FAN DEY SHOULD HAVE NEVER LET gO KENYON 2 fINALs IN 2 STrAIGHT yEARS

  26. You….those who say Vince is not a great palyer….well…think again…Slam dunk winner…League leader in votes for the All Star Game in his second season in NBA…Rookie of The year …and let’s not foreget his family problemes…personal problemes… if you were in his situation i garantee you couldn’t face it.
    Mabye he isn’t the best player in nba….but i prefere him …rather than Carmelo Anthony that “junk”…he a athlete who get’s hi….and drinks while he drives a car…Let’s say that Vince is a great player….and stop criticizing him…hot they say …allen iverson the awnser…VINCE CARTER THE SOLUTION…for more details watch V.C’s youtube videos…and “Beyond the glory Vince Carter”…WE LOVE VINCE…scuze my English…i’m form Romania

  27. Sure, Vince didn’t show heart in Toronto at the end, but can you blame him? The team was going NOWHERE and he wanted out. Magic Johnson said Vince didn’t have it anymore. Watch a Nets game this year, and you see vintage Vince Carter. He’s aggressive and he’s dominant. And now he has a rising star in Devin harris to help him out. Brook Lopez and Yi Jianlian are developing. The Nets have a shot at being a dominant team once everything comes together and you can be sure that Vince is going to lead this team and put 100% effort into the game even if he’s not at 100%. He’s not a quitter anymore, he’s a leader. And he’s a winner.

  28. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
    Simmons is right, you are wrong.
    You get paid to play and play your best every night. Just because you are on a bad team or in a city you don’t like, etc. doesn’t mean you get to quit on your team. If you don’t want to play the game, the don’t. But don’t half-a$$ it and go through the motions at the disposal of fans shelling out money for tickets. (Sorry, Toronto fans) The reason the greatest players are the greatest is because they try to be the best regardless of their situation. Lebron his first five years in Cleveland? Tried as hard as he could despite the horrible guys around him. MJ when he went to the Wizards? With nothing left to prove and on a horrible expansion team he still left it all on the court each night.
    Vince Carter is a paycheck guy with all the talent in the world who is too much of an egomaniac to realize it.
    Vince Carter– overrated and overpaid regardless of what his stats might say.

  29. When ppl say vince is a bad player the thing is unless your a way above nba average player he probable owns you. I think toronto is overreacting i mean minnesota didnt hate kg when he wanted to be traded. Vince might have “betrayed” the raptors but so did many other playes

  30. comin vince step your game up with suns i know this guy can go for another serious run but he’s just sooooooooo offfffffff comin VINCE!!!!

  31. VINCE WITH 33 POINTS BOOOOOOOOMMMMM!!!!!!! he just needs to be more consistent with the shots score more of the shots he takes and we got vincinity back in the house comin VINCE!

  32. Oh Vince, what an enigma. Bottom line, he was too good, too soon, for his own good. Vince took the NBA by storm, from the onset, creating expectations that were astronomical. He would have been better served by gradually improving over the years, that way he would have been credited for being a hard worker that honed his skills through effort.
    Vince was a great player through his Raptors and Nets days. I sincerely believe he did his best with the caliber of players around him. I don’t believe Kobe could have carried any of those Raptor or Net teams any further than Vince did. Best teammate Carter had in Toronto was Antonio Davids….but he was expected to get that team to the promised land. Besides Kidd, and maybe Jefferson, there wasn’t much in New Jersey either…..when your starting Center is Jason Collins, you know you are DOOMED! We all saw what happened to the Lakers when Kobe was surrounded by the likes of Smush Parker and Kwame Brown…..didn’t even make the playoffs.
    I’ve also had reason to question Vince’s heart through the years, but the level of vitriol directed at him for the better part of his career, makes no sense. For a player that had added so much value, and created so many memorable moments in the game of basketball, his imperfections notwithstanding, all the negative press he has received is certainly undeserved. If we view most athletes through the same lenses as Vince has been viewed, then most of them should be tied up and shot.
    These days, the baller once known as ‘half-man, half-amazing’ aka Vinsanity, is simply a shade of his old self. Hobbled by injuries accumulated over years of dazzling aerial assaults of the hoop, he is now a jump shooting veteran seeking an elusive ring. Watch Vince sprint back on defense now, and it’s obvious that he’s laboring not to exert too much effort on his now weaker legs. He won’t admit it, but he once confided in Jerry Stackhouse, a couple of years ago, that his knees just won’t let him go as hard as he wants to go, as Stackhouse stated on ESPN.
    Looking back at Carter’s career, I make bold to state that I feel like I got my money’s worth. Yes, I was very entertained. I treasure my Vinsanity memories, the poetry in motion that captivated a nation, and excited my youthful imagination about what was possible when armed with a basketball and a blatant disregard for gravity! (as someone succinctly stated). Vince rivaled all his peers and most of his predecessors when it came to delivering the goose bump effects, the ‘oooh and aahhh’ moments, that had you completely befuddled at what you had just witnessed. For this reason alone, if no other exists, Vince Carter remains my guy, and I’m grateful I witnessed the Vinsanity years. Acccording to Kevin Durant, Vince was his favorite NBA player and remains so. At least, someone else, albeit a great NBA player himself, also has an appreciation for the greatness of Vince. I can’t be that deluded, if Durant agrees with me, right?

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