by Eldon Khorshidi / @eldonadam
Now in his 14th season, Vincent Lamar Carter has scripted one of the most unique legacies in NBA history. He’s often regarded as overrated, an underachiever, or even a “bust”, mostly because his enormous talent and ability do not correlate with his postseason success, or lack thereof, especially during his time as the face of the Toronto Raptors. But almost always, these critiques and claims are followed with words such as “amazing”, “unreal”, or even “one of the best to ever do it.” “It” is a very open-ended word, but Carter brought an excitement and hype to the NBA that few, if any, ever have. Carter was a human trampoline. He had the ability and gall to dunk on anyone, from anywhere. Mutombo, Mourning, The Admiral, Ben Wallace…the list goes on. And there was that Dunk Contest thing.
In all fairness, Vince wasn’t only a dunker. The guy racked up accolades, too. Rookie of the Year, averaged 27 in his second season, 8-time All-Star, led the Raptors to their first ever playoff appearance, dropped 51 twice, and so on. Maybe not the most important accolades, but nothing to sneeze at, either.
Numbers aside, it’s no secret that Carter connected with his inner self, his teammates and his fans while soaring to heights that would put Neil Armstrong to shame. In honor of his 35th birthday, we’ve compiled Vinsanity’s best 40 dunks. You know, the usual; facials, vomit-inducing aerial feats, windmills, career-enders, contested 360’s, game-winning alley-oops, a montage of the 2000 Dunk Contest and much, much more. The gallery begins with two filthy dunks from his UNC days followed by his first ever NBA dunk, then proceeds to rank the rest, which, honestly, is like ranking Dennis Rodman’s hairdos. Can’t really do it, fam. (Side note: Back in SLAM 104, former Ed. Ryan Jones broke down a lot of these dunks with VC himself.)
With only one Conference Finals appearance to his name, Vince signed with the defending champion Dallas Mavericks this offseason, teaming up with former backcourt buddy Jason Kidd. And even now, in his 16th season, he’s still got it.
With that being noted, roll through the gallery above to take a look at Carter’s best throwdowns. Did I miss anything? Do you disagree with some of the rankings? If yes, feel free to drop by the comments and vent. Carter is currently nursing a sprained left foot, which has kept him out the past five games. Hopefully he returns sooner than later, but until then, relish in some of Vinsanity’s most remarkable moments. Feel better and happy born day, Vince!