Hawks news: Vince Carter says he 'didn't want any part of being the next Michael Jordan'
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Vince Carter says he ‘didn’t want any part of being the next Michael Jordan’

Vince Carter, Michael Jordan

When Atlanta Hawks veteran swingman Vince Carter entered the NBA back in 1998 with the Toronto Raptors, some were calling him the next Michael Jordan.

Like Jordan, Carter played at UNC and had nuclear athleticism. Vince averaged 18.3 points per game in his rookie season with the Raptors and won Rookie of the Year.

However, some pundits criticized Carter for being too friendly with other superstars, something Jordan never did. Carter says the criticism bothered him at first and that he never wanted to be the next Michael Jordan:

“Because Michael Jordan had a scowl on his face, I was supposed to have a scowl on my face,” Carter told Jacob Feldman of Sports Illustrated. “But I felt I could talk to you all I wanted, even during the course of the game, and I’m still trying to bust your ass.

“At first the criticism bothered me and got under my skin. For a while it wasn’t fun and I worried about what people were saying—listening to them say I should be like this or that. I made it clear, I just wanted to be the next me. I didn’t want any part of being the next Michael Jordan. He’s the greatest player to play the NBA game. Let him be that. I’m OK being me.”

Vince Carter has had a great NBA career. He’s about to play in his 22nd season next year after re-signing with the Hawks this summer.

While Carter never won an NBA championship or MVP award like Jordan, he was still able to create an everlasting legacy. Carter’s performance in the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest will be talked about for decades.

Entering next season, Carter has career averages of 17.2 points, 4.4 rebounds and 3.2 assists in 1,481 games with the Raptors, New Jersey Nets, Orlando Magic, Phoenix SunsDallas MavericksMemphis GrizzliesSacramento Kings and Hawks.