Vince Carter


Vince Carter


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Vince Carter squares off with Kobe Bryant.

The Brooklyn Nets have decided to immortalize Vince Carter, raising his No. 15 jersey to the Barclay Center rafters, to forever reside next to Jason Kidd’s No. 5.

The announcement comes on the heels of the news that former teammate Tracy McGrady would be inducting Carter into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in October 2024.

Nets play-by-play announcer Ian Eagle narrated the video announcement.

“One of the greatest players in Nets history, an icon of the game, a legacy that will forever live in the hearts of Nets fans, his No. 15 will take its rightful place among the franchise greats, immortalized high above the court at Barclays Center, never again to be worn by a Net. Vince Carter, half-man, half-amazing, a legend that will always be remembered.”

It’s official: We’re raising @mrvincecarter15’s jersey to the rafters next season.

And we invited a pair of Nets legends to assist with the announcement.

t.co/IkjyKxMU3n


Vince’s New Start In Brooklyn

After a memorable six-plus years with the Toronto Raptors, Carter arrived in Brooklyn via a midseason trade for Alonzo Mourning, Eric Williams, Aaron Williams and two first-round draft picks.

It wasn’t a popular move amongst his Raptors teammates and fans, but Carter noted “The organization has been good to me and given me an opportunity to grow and make a name for myself. Where it went wrong? I don’t know. I guess it just got to where it was time to move on.”

Carter joined an underperforming Nets team with a paltry 9-16 record. The team went just 18-20 over Carter’s first 38 games, before Carter, Kidd and Richard Jefferson found their stride, going 15-4 over their last nine games to finish 42-40, good enough to secure the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs. The Nets had no answer for Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O’Neal and the top-seeded Miami Heat, losing in a 4-0 sweep.

While the season ended in abject failure, the future looked bright, with Carter getting back to his scoring ways, averaging 27.5 points per game to go with 5.9 rebounds, 4.7 assists and 1.5 steals, shooting 42.5% from the 3-point line.


Two Great Years, Two Not So Much

The next two seasons for the Nets resulted in 90 regular season wins, two All-Star nominations for Carter and two trips to the Eastern Conference Semifinals. Carter was able to shed the “injury-prone” label he acquired in Toronto, starting 161 of a possible 164 regular season games, averaging 24.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.1 steals per game.

The playoffs brought heightened expectations, but the Nets wouldn’t make it out of the second round in either season. In 2005-06, the Nets got their rematch with the Heat, but fell in five games. The next season, Brooklyn lost in six games to an upstart Cleveland Cavaliers team led by 22-year-old LeBron James.

While Carter would remain durable (he played 156 of 162 regular season games), the next two seasons would be a massive disappointment. Despite the big three of Carter, Jefferson and Kidd remaining healthy, the Nets found themselves with a poor record of 23-29 heading into the 2007-08 trade deadline.

On February 19, 2008, the Nets traded Kidd to the Dallas Mavericks in a deal that returned five players and two first-round draft picks. Brooklyn would struggle, going just 11-19 over the remainder of the season, missing the playoffs with a record of 34-48. Another blow came during the offseason when Jefferson was traded to the Milwaukee Bucks.

A gutted roster left Carter with 25-year-old Devin Harris and 20-year-old Brook Lopez as the No. 2 and No. 3 scoring options, resulting in another 34-48 campaign. After the season, Brooklyn decided to fully embrace the youth movement, trading Carter to the Orlando Magic, preparing themselves financially for a star-studded 2010 free agency class.


Brooklyn’s Legacy of Love

It’s refreshing to see a franchise show such love to a former player, despite playing a relatively short time and producing a relatively small amount of success. Carter only played four-plus seasons, only won two playoff series and never reached the level of the back-t0-back NBA Finals teams of 2001-03.

Still, Carter made enough of an impact during his time to have made a significant enough impression to warrant his number being retired. The Nets career leaders list is littered with Carter’s name, including most field goals (3rd), most 3-point field goals (4th), most free-throws (4th), most assists (7th) and most points scored (3rd).

Carter is the seventh player to have his jersey retired by the Nets, joining Kidd, Drazen Petrovic, John Williamson, Bill Mechionni, Julius Erving and Buck Williams. No date has been set for the ceremony.

Michael Dunlap covers the NBA for Heavy.com. His editorial career spans more than a decade. In 2012, Michael founded Hoops Habit — now part of Minute Media’s FanSided network — before rising through the ranks from NBA site editor to Minute Media’s director of e-commerce. Dunlap currently serves as the editorial director at Fubo. More about Michael Dunlap





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