If you grew up watching the NBA in the late 90s and early 2000s, chances are you were a fan of Vince Carter at least at some point during that time. When he first arrived in the NBA from UNC, many analysts, coaches and even fans saw Carter as Michael Jordan’s second coming with his unreal jumping ability, explosiveness and skill. to match these physical attributes. After a decade of excellence, Carter’s numbers started to decline, and it was obvious he wasn’t doing the same job as, say, Kobe to improve his craft even though Carter was still more likely to be an all time great. .
Nonetheless, Carter’s legacy is one that every fan should admire, and his 22-year career is proof of it. As for the most athletic players in NBA history, his name is among other legends and, according to his former teammate Richard Jefferson, he is the most naturally talented basketball player of all time.
I’ve been with him for four seasons, and when I tell you this, I’ve never seen anything like Vince Carter. I was lucky enough to play with LeBron, and obviously LeBron was the size, but there was nothing I ever saw that man couldn’t do. Finishes on the left, dunks on the left, 360 layups, handling him like a point guard. I think he is the most talented player I have ever seen in my life.
Richard Jefferson, via NBA on ESPN
Jefferson had the opportunity to witness what made Carter such a special player during their time with the New Jersey Nets. The two formed an exciting duo at the back of the field that produced spectacular plays in every game, with Jason Kidd setting up Carter and Jefferson for all kinds of incredible dunks.
Matt Barness also shared his thoughts on Carter, saying the most talented player he played with or against was Kobe Bryant, but he has immense respect for Carter as someone with the most divine talent among all the players he has met in his career.
Obviously I think the most talented player I’ve ever played with or against was Kobe, but when it comes to god-given physical talent, Vince has it.
Matt Barnes, via NBA on ESPN
Even though Carter never made it to the NBA Finals and win a championship, his legacy truly deserves respect. His consistency over the years was remarkable, and the mere fact that he played for more than two decades in the NBA is a feat few players could replicate. When it comes to Carter, there was always the idea that he could have done more and elevated his game to an even higher level, but that never happened for a variety of reasons. However, he will forever be considered the best dunker in NBA history that produced so many jaw-dropping games that made many kids around the world fall in love with basketball.