Vince Carter - Joy Disappears From Carter's Game
Joy Disappears from Carter's Game
One of the characteristics that had helped to endear Carter to Canadian basketball fans was the obvious joy he took in the game. Between the end of the Raptors' season in the playoffs and the start of the Olympics, some of that joy seemed to disappear. Contributory factors included a separation between his mother and stepfather, a criminal investigation into the activities of Carter's former agent, Tank Black, legal hassles over termination of a shoe contract, and being passed over in the selection process for the U.S. Olympic team. Added to the Olympic team as a substitute for an injured player, it was a radically different Carter who took the court in the Olympics. Gone was his trademark smile. In its place was a look of grim determination and even rage. But, if anything, this pent-up anger at a whole constellation of real and perceived indignities and injuries only sharpened Carter's play. He quickly emerged as the U.S. basketball team's dominant force, leading the squad in scoring. Finally, in the moments after the team seized gold, all the hurt and frustration of the recent past seemed, at least for the moment, to be shed.
Particularly hurtful to Carter were some of the comments made about him by teammate and distant cousin Tracy McGrady after leaving the Raptors for the Orlando Magic in August 2000. McGrady said publicly that he needed to needed to carve out a niche somewhere for himself, but his mother told the media that her son had grown tired of hearing about Carter constantly. Carter admitted later that McGrady's comments "bothered me for a long time. It was wild. My head was spinning so fast. I read [his mother's quotes]; then people said he was saying the same things on TV. I said, 'Fine. If that's how he feels, so be it.' I couldn't find enough guts to call him and say, 'What's going on?'"
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