Transforming from all-star to role player can be a begrudging process for NBA players used to a certain level of personal success on the court. Not every player is capable of making the transition in a smooth and non-disruptive fashion that benefits their current team. But the Dallas Mavericks are graced with two veterans who understand their time in the spotlight has passed and have embraced the responsibility of fitting in.
Vince Carter and Shawn Marion have a combined 11 all-star appearances between them but both are far removed for their days of glory as primary options on their team. The duo willingly defers to the undisputed leader of the Mavs, Dirk Nowitzki, without even the slightest hint of a power struggle. There is some irony in relationship since Nowitzki is at the tail-end of his status as an elite player, despite being the same age as Marion and only two years younger than Carter.
The guy once dubbed as “Half-man, Half-amazing” is no longer the player who can leap tall Europeans in a single bound.
Carter is now a bearded veteran still capable of giving opponents buckets but primarily from the outside as opposed to over the top. VC is by and large a three-point shooter for the Mavs. He takes 45.9 percent of his total shots from behind the arc, connecting at a rate of 40 percent.
Carter has been a model citizen in Dallas, and — given his incoming resume — could have easily been a distraction after being assigned a bench role. He’s only started 43 of the 223 games he’s played in Dallas (0 this season) and averages just 25.1 minutes per game since 2011-12. But he has been OK with it. In an article on Mavs.com Carter talked about his place on the roster:
“It’s a different role, it’s a different mentality,” Carter said of coming off the bench. “As you’re growing up, people in the world in general put so much into being the starter. I think everyone grows up saying ‘I want to be a starter for my team’ instead of being a finisher, being a closer. When you break it down to them they’re like ‘ah, yeah, that makes sense.’ You could be a guy who starts and really doesn’t play anymore the rest of the game.”
That maturity in that statement speaks volumes and alludes to a man totally comfortable with himself. How many guys who have had the same level of popularity and success as Carter could be so chill? He’s No. 25 on the NBA’s all-time points list and No. 7 on three-pointers made, yet seems to have no ego about it at all. He once had his own pop culture/basketball phrase that has since been recycled at fraction of the popularity.
Vinsanity > Linsanity in a landslide.