I interviewed Vince Carter last week and I must say I was a little surprised. I guess after all of those years of me watching him blatantly disrespecting dudes on the court by jumping over them, I assumed he was a beast off the court as well.
Nothing can be further from the truth. He was very well spoken, polite and didn’t dunk on me. I think he definitely has a career in coaching, he seemed passionate about helping other guys “figure it out”.
In this interview Vince talks about the Mavs, coaching, playing in China, his favorite moments as a player, how many years he has left and whether players beef with him after he posterizes them. Read excerpts below, video after the break.
On What the Dallas Mavs Have to Do to Win a Chip This Year
Get lucky. The first part of the season is for our young guys to gain experience. I think we have a lot of guys who have been around, like OJ Mayo and Darren Collison, but we have our rookies who are playing big minutes and are still trying to get their feet wet and find their way. For every tight situation that you think you’ve been through [in a game], there’s still something new. So they’re still learning.
On His Younger Teammates Going to him for Help
I told them from day one, “Look, don’t be afraid to ask questions.” It’s better to ask about a situation that you don’t know than to just go out there and try to guess your way through it- then you don’t play as well. Then you get frustrated…So, yes, I’ve been busy but it’s been good because it helps me as well.
I think it’s helped Jae Crowder the most. He’s been playing very well, a lot of confidence, our other guys are starting to gain more confidence, too.
On If He’s Considering Coaching When He Retires
I like coaching, I like helping…My first year in the league, a former Knick, Charles Oakley helped me and he was always in my ear. He just made me felt comfortable. I felt that after that year, I felt that if I can help, and just talk and communicate, I think that puts everybody at ease. I wouldn’t mind it, but we’ll see. I still have a couple of years left.
On How Many Years He Thinks He Has Left
After this year it will be 15 and that was kind of my goal. Coming into the league I said I wanted to play 15 years- I don’t know why, it’s just something I wanted to do. I’m feeling good so it’s probably going to be a year by year thing from there. Maybe 2 years, maybe 1 more- who knows?
On If He Would Ever Play in China After the NBA
[laughs] No no, once it’s over, it’s over. I think he [Tracy McGrady] still has some ball left to play and he got a great opportunity. I think if I can still last in this league and feel good, I’m going to do it. Once that rag is all [twists hands], there’s no more water in it, it’s time to walk away. I have a seven year old and I want to be able to see her do her thing- she’s a tennis player. I’m going to keep a job, for sure, but once it’s over…I think it’s over.
Furthermore, China’s a long way. I love them, they’re great…but when it’s near the end like that and you’re still trying to play just because you think you’re somewhat good, I think it’s tough.
On His Favorite “Vince Carter” Moment
That  was a great year. Probably the dunk contest because it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. Growing up, I used to tape [the dunk contests] and just watch and study them…That [2000 Dunk Contest] was the moment for me. I always told myself if I ever get the opportunity to play in the NBA, I want to be in the dunk contest. Of course, winning a gold medal was by far one of the best things and the moment of jumping over [the 7 footer] was of course, an out of body experience.
On What’s It Like To Interact with Someone He’s Posterized
[laughs] It just depends. If you have “the male chess master”, if you would, and the guy is going and going after it- there’s usually not much conversation afterwards. Or, if you don’t know the guy, you keep it going. Guys that you know, you kind of have a laughing moment. I remember dunking on Tim Duncan one time in San Antonio. We’re at the free throw line and he’s like, “Man, that’s just not fair because I can’t jump high enough to block it.” So it just all depends, you know? There’s one player who didn’t talk to me for a while but I won’t say any names. We’re cool now [laughs].