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Hawks’ Vince Carter won’t enter Slam Dunk Contest despite fan initiative

Vince Carter, Hawks

Despite the recent initiative to get Atlanta Hawks swingman Vince Carter back into the dunk contest one last time, the veteran formerly known as “Half-Man, Half-Amazing” won’t even dabble in consideration of it, noting it would sour the memories of what’s arguably the best Slam Dunk Contest of all time.

“I don’t think about doing it,” Carter told teammate Kent Bazemore and Annie Finberg on The Ringer’s “Winging It” podcast (h/t John Chick of TheScore). “We all … go back and talk about the dunk contest from 2000 and what it did for people and where you were and all of that, and I know what it did for me. So I feel like to taint it, 18-19 years later, why?”

A much younger Carter once brought an entire Oakland Arena to its feet during the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest, as he threw down one thunderous dunk after another with relative ease, beating worthy opponents like cousin Tracy McGrady, Ricky Davis, Jerry Stackhouse and Steve Francis:

“I think if I step on the court for someone to see a dunk, the first thing you’re going to think about is 2000,” said Carter. “And you’re gonna compare that to 18-19 years later. And that’s just too much time in between. What that did for me then, I don’t ever want to tarnish it. And I feel like going out there, I’m just trying to relive something that should be left alone. Just like when we think some of our classic movies, like let’s not reboot or remake, let’s just leave it alone.”

Vince Carter is taking the smart approach and leaving his legacy as one of the all-time best dunkers in the game untouched. The 42-year-old is the oldest player in the league today, yet has still managed to throw it down from one time to another, but even he knows the effects of Father Time and what it could do to his legacy if he attempts another go.

“(In 2000) it didn’t matter, I could dunk fresh off the bus, off the plane,” he said. “Now, meh, not so much.”

Some of the best things are better left alone. Carter’s legacy as one of the most vicious skywalkers to ever grace the NBA is surely one of them.