The Enigma That Is Dallas Mavericks Guard Vince Carter

Vince Carter

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

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.

Miotch is a Mavericks writer for Follow him on Twitter @Miotch_Report, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your Google Network.

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  • IknowYouknow

    Lol….welcome to my life Mavs fans! As a long-term VC fan, I’ve wavered so much between loving VC and despising him that I’ve lost count. You see Vince score so effortlessly, and you wonder why on this green earth does he refuse to do it more frequently.
    It is not for the faint of heart to be a Carter fan. He’ll literally drive you crazy. His game is so poetic and flawlessly artistic. Combining a still lethal first step, legendary hang time, a sweet jump-shot that knows no range, and a knack for clutch plays with a charming personality. He captivates you, and when he fully has your attention, he shuts it all down. He would simply refuses to deliver what he’s set you up to expect.
    And just when you’re ready to quit on him, like the awful habit he is, he puts on a display that reminds you that for sheer entertainment value, he may be the best that ever did it. Even in his older age, he refuses to let you stop expecting. He refuses to let you move on. With one play in a game, he reminds you that he still has some of the old stuff left in the tank. He makes you long for more.
    Not going to happen. I know VC, I understand his mindset, which I despise as much as I love his game. He has settled in, he’s satisfied to be a veteran that gives the Mavs a little boost of the bench. True excitement for VC is difficult to attain and maintain, which is why he attempted so many physics defying stunts when his body permitted such….to excite himself. He get’s excited when traded to a new team and has to prove himself, maybe when he sees a real opportunity to win a ring, when he’s being called out by a player or coach. Besides that, he’ll sleep walk for the most part.
    This is the tragedy that unites VC and many other superiorly talented people. They get bored easily by the task, but every now and then they’ll get excited enough to show you that they’re superior. There’s excitement and gratification in striving to achieve something that you have to work extremely hard at, which the superiorly talented are robbed of. The best in different endeavors in life are not always the most successful, for this very reason. You’d be amazed how much better VC would perform if he starts getting booed by Mavs fans. They would have supplied much needed excitement for him. He needs it to be the player you want him to be.