VINCE Carter quickly started meeting the high expectations of him, earning his first NBA All-Star selection during his sophomore year.
The ex-No. 5 pick’s rapid rise memorably put him in an uncomfortable situation in 2003 when he was voted to the All-Star Game’s starting lineup ahead of Michael Jordan.
NBA icon Vince Carter (15) recalled how he gave up his starting spot in the 2003 All-Star Game to Michael Jordan (23) after the league encouraged him to do itCredit: Getty
The All-Star Game took place in Jordan’s second and last farewell seasonCredit: Getty
That particular All-Star Game took place during Jordan’s second — and final — farewell season.
Many called on Carter to give up his starting spot to honor Jordan — even though the Toronto Raptors star received over 200,000 votes more than His Airness.
Media members argued it was “the right thing to do,” particularly as the 6-foot-6 shooting guard had missed most of the first part of the 2002-03 season with an injury.
Initially, VC appeared unwilling to let Jordan replace him in the Eastern Conference’s All-Star team and was vilified for his position.
But he eventually changed his mind and, ironically, even had to persuade MJ to take his spot.
But in a 2020 appearence on All The Smoke, Carter recalled the situation blew up so much that even the NBA got involved.
“It was encouraged by the league that it was a good idea. By the powers that be,” he said.
“It was probably a good idea that MJ starts in his last All-Star Game. I ain’t no fool, you know what I’m saying?
” I ain’t no fool. First of all, we all look up to MJ and he’s a hero.
“Bruh, that’s a memory that nobody else can talk about. That can’t be duplicated. Bruh, I got a story — I can tell this story forever.
“Nobody else can say that.”
The ex-NBA star added: “This is MJ’s last year, bruh. And you’re not starting? I got a chance to kind of do this again. This is your time, MJ.”
However, Carter also recalled telling Jordan that he “didn’t want to get blackballed from the league” because the six-time NBA champion’s insistence that VC “earned it” to start.
His Airness only accepted the offer after Carter said he wouldn’t come out for the game otherwise, the Florida native said.
Jordan started alongside Allen Iverson, Tracy McGrady, Jermaine O’Neal, and.
The Western Conference, led by Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, Steve Francis, and Yao Ming, ended up beating the East 155-145.