Brooklyn Nets: The last reminders of a past life

Brooklyn Nets Gerald Green. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)
Brooklyn Nets Gerald Green. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Brooklyn Nets, New Jersey Nets
Brooklyn Nets Vince Carter (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Vince Carter, Atlanta Hawks

Half-Man, Half-Amazing is still at it after all these years. The oldest player in the NBA, better remembered for his jaw-dropping, highlight-heavy tenure with the Toronto Raptors, Vince Carter played in five equally impressive seasons with the New Jersey Nets.

In the Nets’ own version of a Big Three — Carter, Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson — carried the Nets into the playoffs three straight years from 2005-07. Carter averaged 23.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 4.7 assists per game.

He brought excitement to the Meadowlands. An endless reel of game winners, buzzer beaters, and astonishing dunks flash before anyone lucky enough to catch his tenure in New Jersey.

The magnum opus of his Nets days came in 2005-06.

The Nets’ Big Three was at the height of their power. The Three willed their team to 49 wins, clinched the third seed in the Eastern Conference, only to lose to the eventual champion Miami Heat, led by Shaquille O’Neal and Dwayne Wade.

But on one night in the 2005-06 regular season, Carter threw it down over Alonzo Morning so savagely that he allegedly did not speak to him for six or seven years, according to Carter.

Brooklyn Nets. New Jersey Nets
Brooklyn Nets Vince Carter. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images) /

After the Jason Kidd era ended in 2008 and a new rebuilding phase began, the team decided to hang onto the aged veteran where he helped mentor the young, injury-ridden cornerstones of the team’s next phase, Devin Harris and Brook Lopez.

Eventually he was traded, along with Ryan Anderson, to the Orlando Magic in 2009.

After a little under a season and a half in Orlando, Carter was moved to the Phoenix Suns. He then moved on to the Mavericks, where he returned to the playoffs and reinvented himself into a reliable knockdown 3-point shooter.

He also proved that he could still bring entire crowds to their feet, even if he may not throw it down as often anymore.

After a three-year stay in Dallas, he spent three more in Memphis and last season with the Sacramento Kings.

As of today, he calls Atlanta home. He’s still putting up a decent stat line. So far he’s averaging 7.0 points and a shade under 2.5 rebounds  in 18 minutes a game. He has the potential by the end of Wednesday night to be only the 22nd player to score over 25,000 points.

Most importantly, he is acting as a mentor to a very young Hawks team led by Trae Young, Taurean Prince, and John Collins.

Carter, currently 41, has said that he has more to contribute on the basketball court and may try and go for a 23rd season in the league after this year.