What Vince Carter is Orlando getting: Half-Man, Half-Amazing or the moody star?
I credit the Orlando Magic for not resting on their laurels as Eastern Conference champs.
After advancing to the NBA Finals, GM Otis Smith and owner Rich Devos had the power to let Hedo Turkoglu walk via free agency and not bother finding a replacement. They could’ve gone cheap, signed a marginal player, and blamed the suffering economy.
Instead, they went in a different direction. On draft day, the club acquired Vince Carter to replace Turkoglu, who likely signs elsewhere after opting out of his contract this past week. Is the Magic better replacing Turkoglu with Carter?
Well, it depends on who shows in Florida. After all, Carter has a case of schizophrenia. Some games, he uses his athleticism to attack the basket, rebound, and dominate. Other games, he settles for fade aways and appears uninterested.
Who is Orlando getting: the high flying, two-guard or the sulking star who publicly admitted to not giving his all in Toronto?
The case for Half-Man, Half-Amazing …
Home is where the heart is. For years, there had been rumours of Carter returning to his home state of Florida. Two years ago, the former Slam Dunk winner nearly signed with the Magic as a free agent before Bruce Ratner and the Nets handed him a four-year, 60 million dollar pact.
So there won’t be an off-court adjustment. Carter is familiar with the city and has a support system near by. Being comfortable and playing in front of family and friends every night should motivate the 2-3 to find his peak form and gel with Dwight Howard, Rashard Lewis, and Jameer Nelson.
(Will there be more poster shots in Orlando?)
The Case for a Disaster …
Playing at home doesn’t guarantee success, though. For instance, Tracy McGrady, a relative of Carter’s and Florida native, clashed with ownership during his time in Orlando and was eventually dealt to Houston.
For years, he enjoyed unconditional support from New Jersey coach Lawrence Frank. Suppose ‘VC’ struggles. How long before fans boo and sideline boss Stan Van Gundy calls him out in a post-game press conference? Unlike Howard, Carter, a sensitive person, could shut down when dealing with such criticism.
(Will Magic fans also burn Carter’s jersey?)
Our Call: Half-Man, Half-Amazing will shine in Disney World. Over the years, Carter has matured and surely knows the end is near, so he’ll be ready to go in Orlando. However, the Magic will still be hard pressed to duplicate last season’s success and return to the NBA Finals.