The Memphis Grizzlies now have a new addition who seems happy in the city of grit and grind.
It’s a 37-year-old veteran player who made his mark with one of the most-talked-about dunks in NBA All-Star history. Do you remember? It’s Vince Carter. He’ll be sporting his number, 15, this upcoming season with the Grizzlies.
The eight-time NBA All-Star and newly signed guard/forward took to the podium on Monday (July 14) during a mid-day press conference at the FedExForum. He discussed a wide range of topics, including his workout regimen and a conversation he had with Grizzlies owner Robert Pera.
“I think what did it for me was meeting with Coach (Dave Joerger) and talking with Robert (Pera) and eventually Chris (Wallace),” Carter said. “It just felt right. I’m able to come in and hopefully get us over the hump. That’s the goal. I feel I have a lot in the tank.”
Exiting from the Dallas Mavericks organization, Carter brings plenty to the table. The Grizzlies have retained a veteran player with a high basketball IQ. Longevity and court smarts are two attributes that can be turned into teachable moments for new Grizz players and a collective think-tank for the team’s veterans.
Carter (6-6, 220) comes to Memphis with career averages of 20.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 34.2 minutes in 1,148 games (950 starts) over 16 seasons with the Toronto Raptors, New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix Suns and Dallas Mavericks. He owns career-shooting percentages of .442 from the field, .378 from three-point range and .799 from the free throw line.
“What he brings to the table is what we need. He’s a good shooter, he’s a good player and he’s a good leader in our locker room,” said Joerger.
Carter’s not afraid to take a shot. He can make difficult shots and he can score from the wing spot, which is something that the Grizzlies have been lacking. His record speaks volumes. Carter ranks among all-time NBA leaders coming in seventh in three-pointers made (1,809). He comes in eighth at three-point field goals attempted (4,788).
While many are looking at his age and voicing concern about Carter’s sustainability, he seems unperturbed.
“Being this age, you run across a lot of guys who looked up to you when they were in middle school.” Carter said. “Now they’re actually trying to guard you in the game. It’s tough to deal with; but at the same time it makes me feel good that I put a lot of work in, stayed healthy and still can compete at a high level.”
Carter says he rests well, eats right and stretches more – something he didn’t do in his younger years because he didn’t feel it was necessary.
“I think I’m going to bring my work ethic and my love for the game to this team,” Carter said.
An eight-time All-Star (2000-07), Carter was voted as a starter in seven seasons and was the league’s leading vote-getter four times. He was named to the 2000-01 All-NBA Second Team and the 2001-02 All-NBA Third Team and averaged at least 20 points per game for 10 consecutive seasons (1999-09). Carter also helped Team USA’s men’s national team capture the gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia.