As a whole, the Dallas Mavericks are an unpredictable, up-and-down, schizophrenic enigma unto themselves, but no single player on the team makes as little sense as 15-year veteran Vince Carter. One second he’s hitting clutch three-pointers and exploding to the rim for a throwback ‘Vinsanity’ jam, the next second he’s chucking up bricks, missing big shots, or making boneheaded mistakes at the most inopportune moments.
Physically, Carter, at 36, is still able to do things most NBA players in their early 20’s couldn’t even dream of doing in a video game. Whenever he steps in that Hot Tub Time Machine, he delivers entertainment that can only take one’s breath away. But the inconsistency and mental errors at the end of close games continue to leave fans of the Mavericks totally confused, shaking their heads.
Who is this guy? It’s really difficult to tell at any given moment. Maybe he’s a shape-shifter of some sort, as there’s always been something alien about Carter’s game. Players Carter’s age are supposed to hit a decline because physically, they can’t get it done like the younger guys in the NBA anymore. Mentally though, at this point Carter is supposed to be wise and make the heads-up play on the court, as opposed to the boneheaded one.
Perhaps that is the reason why the glaring mental aspect of Carter’s game gets overlooked, though. Maybe Carter’s seemingly unprecedented, eye-popping dunks at his advanced age prevents critics from microscopically dissecting his lack of intangibles. He’s a veteran, yes, but in some odd, enigmatic way, he has placed himself into the category of a young, talented player who is trying to put it all together.
Maybe one day Carter will figure it all out. For now though, Mavericks fans will continue to have a love-hate relationship with the veteran.