In today’s society, athletes are inevitably compared to one another,especially basketball players. It seems that every time a young playerenters the NBA and demonstrates above average talent or has one spectaculargame he is dubbed the next Michael Jordan. Vince Carter is one of thoseplayers, however his comparison to Michael has very few resemblance. Thereare numerous similarities between Carter and Jordan, however Carter has yetto prove himself the next Michael Jordan.
Michael Jordan stands six feet six inches tall and weighs around 200pounds. He sports a clean-shaven head and a marked grin on his face. Jordanis from North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina. Whilea freshman at UNC, Jordan led the tarheels to a national championship,hitting the last second shot to win the game. Jordan left the University ofNorth Carolina after his junior year and was selected third in the NBAdraft, by the Chicago Bulls. While with the bulls Jordan set many seasonaland career records. He was also the leader of the Bulls, which twice wonthree NBA titles in a row. Michael Jordan matured in the NBA and reachedhis maximum playing ability, that is why he is considered the greatestplayer of all time.
Like Jordan, Vince stands six feet six inches tall and weighs about200 pounds. He also has a clean-shaven head and a marked smile. VinceCarter is from Daytona Beach, Florida, but like Jordan, he attended theUniversity of North Carolina. Unlike Jordan, Carter did not win a nationalchampionship, however he did lead them to two final four appearances in theNCAA tournament. Carter left the University of North Carolina after hisjunior year, as did Jordan. He was drafted fifth in the NBA draft by theGolden State Warriors and then traded to the Toronto Raptors for his UNCteammate Antawn Jamison. This is his third season in the league and whilehe has yet to win a championship, he turned the Toronto Raptors into animmediate playoff team. Dissimilar to Jordan, Carter has yet to mature inthe NBA, but give time he will become one of the greatest players ever toplay the game.
Michael Jordan always had a calm demeanor on the basketball court aswell as in his personal life. Even though he was always calm on the court,he was tremendously competitive. He knew what it took to win and he showedit throughout every game. Jordan knew that to be great you had to sacrificeyour body for the team, and he demonstrated that during the playoffs in1997. Jordan came down with the flu before the game, and although extremelyill, he played anyway. During that game, he scored forty-five points andled the Bulls to the finals. As great as Jordan was he never acted as if heknew it, it was as if he did not have a sense of how good he really was.
Basketball was just a game to him, a rather competitive game.
Most of the time Vince Carter has a calm demeanor on the basketballcourt, although there have been a couple of times his immaturity as aplayer have been evident. For example, during one game last season he saidsomething smart to one of the officials, two weeks later the same officialwas officiating one of Toronto’s games and he kept calling fouls on Carter.
This got Carter frustrated causing him to criticize the official after thegame. Jordan would never do this; it just shows the difference in maturitylevels between the two. Like Jordan, Carter knows what it takes to win andis willing to put forth the effort to do so. He knows when and how to takeover a game in order for his team to prevail. One of Carter’s superiorassets, one he shares with Jordan, is something he does not have, a senseof how good he really is.
Michael Jordan can defy gravity. The moves he exhibited on the courtwere astonishing. He was the master of the fade away jump shot, not even aseven foot tall center could defend it. During a playoff game against theLakers in 1991, Jordan came down the lane and went up with the ball in hisright hand as if to dunk, a defender hinted that he would try to block theshot so Jordan suddenly switched the ball to his left hand and laid it inuncontested. The defender just stood there frozen. In 1987, Jordan won theslam-dunk contest by dunking from the free throw line, thus showing himdefying gravity.
Vince Carter also defies gravity. He is known as a dunker, unlikeJordan, who was known as a shooter. However Carter has a magnificent jumpshot, it just has not developed fully. Carter’s career high in scoring isfifty-one points, which came in his national television debut against theKnicks. The most superb play that shows Carter’s athleticism was duringlast year’s slam-dunk contest, which he easily won. Teammate and cousinTracy McGrady bounced the basketball off the court, and then Carter jumpedup and caught the ball in mid air, then took the ball between his legs, andthen dunked it. Vince Carter shows moments of possibly being better thanMichael Jordan was at this stage in his career.
However in order to be considered the next greatest player of all timeyou have to exhibit more than just moments, you have to dominate. Giventime Vince Carter will develop into one of the greatest ever to play, butfor now Michael Jordan is still the greatest.