It's not very often that an eight-time All-Star, former rookie of the year, and perennial highlight reel player gets overlooked on a team. Despite being one of the most recognizable NBA players in the entire world, Vince Carter continues to get overlooked on this Mavericks' 2012-13 roster.
Does it bother him? Hell no.
"Being overlooked, it doesn't hurt my feelings, it doesn't bother me," Carter said. "It just makes my job easier, really. Just go out there and be who I am."
There's the real question: who is the fourteen year vet, now with mileage and age accumulating?
Yes, it's true. Carter has declined with age, and is no where near the stardom he enjoyed in New Jersey thanks to the sensational dunks and even more frequent circus shots. It's not a quantitative decline, though, that can be described by a simple decreasing line on a graph. No, Vinsanity definitely lost a step and some inches to his vertical, but all while evolving his game to fit his new style.
Carter is more diverse than ever before. Driving to the hole and dominating the ball occurs less frequently. His mid-range game has found an increased role. That effortless three point stroke is becoming more prominent. On most Maverick teams, this would seem like more of the same, but not with this new iteration of players. While new acquisition O.J. Mayo is a born shooter, players like Darren Collison, Dahntay Jones, Jae Crowder and Jared Cunningham will have to prove their ability to knock down open shots.
"Just take the right shot," Carter said of the team's shooters. "It’s imperative that we take the shot, whether we make it or miss it. Just let it fly."
Most of the new guards should be able to do this, as well as returning ones in Delonte West and Rodrigue Beaubois. However, confidence is crucial. Just like Vince said, for the offense to function right, players must shoot the three pointer with confidence.
Trust that a guy with 1500+ career three point makes is not going to doubt his ability to make a three. "If it’s there, I plan on taking the shot, just like any other shot," Carter assured.
His potential is not as exciting as Mayo or Collison, and so the vet may not be getting attention he deserves. Never fear, for when the games roll around, he'll be getting playing time. Vince Carter is not here to wow the fans with massive dunks or spectacular shots, but to be a veteran player trusted with an important role in this rotation. This is the final evolution of his game.
And seriously, it's Vinsanity. The dunks and crazy shots are welcomed along, too. Just keep it to a side show.