Vince Carter Is being treated very unfairly

Jake TannerContributor IMay 27, 2010

The treatment Vince Carter is getting from the fans and the media right now is very unfair and the things the critiques(most are VC haters) are saying don't really make sense. The media has bashed him throughout his whole career saying things like he doesn't have heart, he doesn't work hard, he is a choke artist, he is selfish, he needs to drive more, he needs to shoot less. It is all hate and Vince like Kobe Bryant and Allen Iverson has been misunderstood throughout his entire career.

How do these critiques know Vince isn't working hard? You can't have over 19,000 career points and average 22.9 ppg for your career or be the greatest entertainer in league history simply because you are gifted, it takes hard work and dedication. How do these people know Vince didn't hit the weight room in his prime? Were they just in the Raptors training facility in 2001 everyday waiting for Vince to come through? Were they around after practices to see if Vince is shooting jumpers? Has anyone ever heard of Vince missing a practice? Nope not me and I've followed him throughout his entire career. How do these people think Vince doesn't have heart? Is it because he doesn't have a tough look on his face when he plays, or he doesn't scream at his teammates when his team is struggling? so all of a sudden you only have heart if your body language shows it? So I'm guessing these people would think he has heart if he was dancing on the sideline with his teammates. How about the stupid theory of Vince Carter isn't a teammate? It is all a bunch of crap. 

The people saying these things about Vince are people who haven't ever played the game of basketball, people that don't know what it takes and how hard it is to do what he has done in his career. Fellow NBA players have all had good things to say about Vince. Shaquille O'Neal was once asked who is the one player he wants to play with more than anyone his answer was Vince Carter. Kobe Bryant was once questioned about Vince's lack of work ethic and he replied " How can you do all the things he does out there and not work, come on man". Allen Iverson in an interview with Stephen. A Smith said " People say Vince don't got heart, (laughs at that) man let me play with Vince!". These are guys that are some of the greatest to ever put on NBA jerseys and they are saying good things about Vince. 

When he left Toronto he was bashed for it, booed by the fans and destroyed by the media. Why? because people don't like the look on his face, maybe it is a racist thing, maybe people are mad that Vince didn't become what he could have. But it's unfair to judge him like that. Do these people and the folks in Toronto know how it is to be one of the best players in the league and have bad management and coaches ruin your chances to win simply because they don't care? I would give up too, I wouldn't want to waste my prime when my second option is a guy named Morris Peterson and my team is winning 20 games. Vince demanded a trade because he cared and he spoke his mind and he spoke the truth and like always the truth hurts. He had every reason to leave Toronto, they weren't winning and they didn't care. So all of a sudden he is a quitter? it is hard to play with heart every night when you know your team will get demolished, people say Vince doesn't care about winning well if he didn't he wouldn't demand a trade. He said he wanted out of Toronto and play for a contender, but the part people focused on is when he said I want out of Toronto. 

Then when he got to New Jersey he was labelled an underachiever because he played with Jason Kidd. People wanted Vince to win 60 games just because he was on Jason Kidd's team, he couldn't do it and it wasn't his fault and he was bashed for that. My question is when has a Jason Kidd team ever won 60 games? Then he was apparently slowing down just because he couldn't jump over a 7 footer's head anymore. That was the most unfair thing that happened to Vince. He was averaging 20 plus points a night and was being labelled as "washed up" just because he wasn't able to do the spectacular dunks he once could, most of it is his fault because he spoiled us by doing the things he did, people that watched basketball from 1999-2004 know that Vince Carter is arguably the most exciting player the league has seen. But the gift he had ended up hurting him because when his 32 year old body wasn't capable of doing it the cruel and hating media just destroyed him for it and now all of a sudden people think Vince is irrelevant. The NBA for some reason stopped thinking he was an all-star and guys that were averaging 14 a night were being selected to All-Star teams over him. 

Now in 2010 in probably Vince's last chance to win a ring he is being destroyed and bashed by the media. Yes he missed two crucial free throws in game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals but it wasn't all his fault, sometimes people get so caught up in hating a certain player that they forget basketball is a team sport, my question is to those people bashing Vince for those free throws why was the game even sent to that point? Maybe the Magic should have done something to prevent it from getting that close. Yes he has been struggling with his shot the past couple of games but he and his Magic team are doing what is needed to be done and they are winning games. For some strange reason even the power of winning can't kill the hate for Vince. Last night he shot 3-10 and had 8 points and his team won, in game 4 he shot just 1-9 which is bad but again his team won, so why are people worrying so much about his struggles, his team won the game! In the first two games of the series Kevin Garnett shot a combined 9-29 but his team won and nobody bashed Kevin Garnett they said it doesn't matter the Celtics won. Two nights ago Steve Nash shot just 3-11 and the Suns won and people said who cares if Nash struggled his team won the game. Why don't they say this when Vince struggles and his team wins, I can understand people pointing out his shooting struggles so much if his team losses the game but why are they pointed out more than the Magic winning the game? 

All season long people praise Otis Smith for acquiring Vince because he has given the Magic that go to guy and scorer that can take games over. But he struggles in one series against the Celtics defense which is probably the best defense of the last decade and is the same defense that shutdown Dwyane Wade and LeBron James and now it was a bad decision bringing him in? All of a sudden people are saying Hedo Turkoglu was a better player because he got the Magic to the Finals. Well Hedo Turkoglo didn't have to face this amazing Celtics defense last season because the anchor of that defense Kevin Garnett was hurt and didn't play. Last year the Magic wouldn't beat the Celtics if they had KG but all people focus on is last years Finals appearance and how Vince can't take them there even though the series isn't over, nobody talks about how this year Kevin Garnett is back and how Rajon Rondo has transformed into the best point guard in the league they talk about how Vince failed them.

The treatment Vince is getting is unfair and dangerous and he needs to learn from the Allen Iverson fiasco because if he doesn't keep his guards up he too will be forced out of the league due to a lack of respect from GM's and Owners. When Iverson was shipped to Detroit everybody wanted him to be Chauncey Billups and he could only be effective if he was the main option and the coaches decided he shouldn't get that freedom and it cost the team and Allen was blamed. Despite going up and down the court about 8 times without touching the ball and shooting a career low 14 shots a night he was called a team killer and a has been who needs to come off the bench for young no name players. Then all of a sudden he was being unfairly treated by the league and GM's and coaches across the league were delusional and thought it was actually the right idea to bring him off the bench. The treatment he got in Detroit hurt him so bad that even when he returned to Philadelphia the city he owned for 10 years he was asked to run a structured offense and take just 11 shots a night and play only 29 mpg. Would that have happened to Allen had he not gone through the situation in Detroit? No because the coaches would bring the team together and say were throwing away the play book and were running through one of the greatest scorers ever and he is playing 40 mpg like he always has. But he had lost so much respect because of the media and critiques just brainwashing and hating on him because of the fact that he was an icon, they were waiting for the day to come where they can eat him up and when they saw there chance they did it.

Vince needs to be very very careful because chances are next year the question of him having to come off the bench is going to be coming up and just the fact that it's even a question no longer will he be able to demand minutes, touches and shots because the limit for what he can have will be so low. 3 bad games and Vince's career can end up like Allen's because he too is hated like that and the media just can't wait for the Celtics to close this series out so they can label Vince the biggest underachiever in the history of the NBA. Even though the Orlando management isn't that evil and you would think they wouldn't let it happened to Vince it can happened because if it can happened to a guy like A.I. than it can happened to anyone.

Unfortunately Vince's legacy and the rest of his career may rely on just 2 more games and if he doesn't live up the unfair pressure sadly his NBA career may end pretty soon. Or Vince can man up for 2 games step up and help the Magic make history and quiet all the critiques and turn the negative press into positive press which would save his career. For the Magic every game is a must win now. But for Vince they are much more than just must win games the next two games are the most important basketball games of Vince Carter's life.