Vince Carter is an eight-time NBA All-Star. In his heyday, he was an elite scorer who eclipsed the 20-points-per-game mark in 10 different seasons. That his dunking is what he is most renowned for is a testament to his athleticism and in-flight flair. Carter’s 2000 Slam Dunk Contest performance is the most iconic ever, and many fans would love to see Carter, now the oldest player in the NBA at 41, enter another dunk contest as an homage to the one he won 18 years ago. Carter isn’t considering entering another dunk contest, however. He explained why on the Winging It podcast, a show he is co-hosting for The Ringer alongside Kent Bazemore and Annie Finberg. As transcribed by Josh Weinstein of SportsNet:
“We all go back and talk about the dunk contest from 2000 and what it did for people and where you were and all of that, and I know what it did for me. So I feel like to taint it, 18-19 years later, why?” Carter said during an appearance on The Ringer’s Winging It podcast.
“If I step on the court for someone to see a dunk, the first thing you’re going to think about is 2000,” he added. “And you’re gonna compare that to 18-19 years later. And that’s just too much time in between … What it did for me then, I don’t ever want to tarnish it. And I feel like going out there, I’m just trying to relive something that should be left alone. Just like when we think some of our classic movies, like let’s not reboot or remake, it’s a classic leave it alone.
“(In 2000) it didn’t matter, I could dunk fresh off the bus, fresh off the plane. Now, not so much.”
Carter, now in his 21st season in the NBA and on the Atlanta Hawks, can still throw down.
Vince Carter made this 360 dunk look way too easy ?pic.twitter.com/LLWcHWpIzS
— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) November 28, 2018
Just being able to dunk at 41 is impressive, and Carter can still 360. Carter is making the right call by not entering a Dunk Contest, though. There is simply no way Carter could keep up with the way younger leapers in the NBA. Outside of nostalgia, his performance would likely be a bit of a letdown, which is in no way an insult to him.