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With one of the most compelling careers in recent NBA history expected to soon come to a close, Vince Carter is sure of just one thing: he wants to end it all being remembered as a Dallas Maverick.
Facing free agency at the end of the season, the 16-year veteran and three-season Maverick recently told the Dallas Morning News “I think I’ve earned the right to stick around. My fingers are crossed.”
In truth, the 6-foot-6 future Hall of Famer has almost taken to his more recent role of six-man reserve and locker room mentor as naturally as he did in earning his surefire Naismith wing distinction. “Next year might be even better,” he said of his time in Dallas. “We can attract some more people, more talent. Now I know my role, and I know the system, it’s second nature to me now.”
So much so, the 37-year-old figures to garner at least some votes in this year’s sixth man of the year voting. Nowadays, the man once known as “Half Man, Half Amazing” plays about half a game and averages a point every two minutes. In all, Carter is averaging 12 points, four rebounds and three assists.
But all these seasons of grinding has taught him, first and foremost, it’s all a business.
“The business side, it happens,” he said. “And maybe they need the money. But I’m hoping we’re talking right here at this time next year. I like the guys. I like the nucleus we have here. With my role and the way I play and the way I go about things, it really helps guys here. And they like that. Hopefully, that’s enough so that they can still have trust in me enough to play significant minutes and help the other guys out.”
With eight games remaining, currently the Mavs are tied with Memphis for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference, just two games behind Golden State for the No. 6 spot.
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