Slamadamonth, SLAM #47: Vince Carter

Originally published in SLAM 47

Half-Man, Half-Amazing? How about Half-Man, Half-Asleep? So Vince Carter jumped over some 7-2 French cat. Big deal. For those of you who might have missed it (thank you, NBC, for showing it in prime after-school special time), the call for the “greatest dunk of all time” went something like this:

DOUG COLLINS: “And a behind-the-back pass by some guy and—Carter picks it off and jumps over that guy who couldn’t make the Knicks if Patrick Ewing got traded. What? Patrick did get traded? Wow. Anyway, let’s go to a replay of that spectacular steal.”

The Greatest Dunk of All Time? Come on, people. That wasn’t even the best dunk of the Olympics (even Freddy Weis had some outstanding putbacks where his feet allegedley left the ground). Reached at the Wizards’ practice where he was taking the last bit of Juwan’s salary in a game of B-E-L-I-K-E-M-I-K-E, MJ had this to say about the dunk: “You call that a dunk? He didn’t even jump from the free-throw line.”

The bystanders were even less impressed. “He jumped over me?” said a surprised Weis afterwards. “I hadn’t noticed.” Carter’s teammate, Kevin Garnett, who ran right over to Carter following the dunk in what seemed to be a moment of jubilation, cleared up some misconceptions. “Congratulate him?” Garnett said. “Naw. He’s my dog and all, but I was just givin’ him some pointers. His legs were all crooked, he brushed the guy’s head and he only put it down with one hand. I told him Isaiah Rider wouldn’t have gone out like that.” Rider couldn’t be reached for comment.

Even Carter himself was startled by the attention. “Which dunk?” he responded to the barrage of questions that greeted him in the post-game press conference. “Oh, the one where I jumped over the guy? Don’t worry, I won’t pull out some tired stuff like that in the gold medal game, that’s for sure. Hi Mom!”

I’m kidding, of course. I’ve watched that dunk 50 times and I still don’t get it. For a second I thought someone sent us a tape of Slam Dunk Ernest by mistake (RIP, Jim Varney). Forget Half-Man, Half-Amazing. Just call him The G.O.A.T.

Russ Bengtson