DALLAS -– When Vince Carter was a rookie in 1998, teammates such as Charles Oakley, Kevin Willis, Doug Christie and Dee Brown helped him make the smooth transition from college basketball to the
Some 15 years later, Carter is returning the favor.
Now the oldest member of the Dallas Mavericks at age 35, Carter has been busy helping Mavs rookies Jared Cunningham, Jae Crowder and Bernard James find their way in the NBA.
“I just sit them down and we just talk about the game,’’ Carter said after Sunday’s practice at American Airlines Center. “It’s not moreso about positioning all the time.
“It’s what’s expected and how to go about it, and I think that’s what they appreciate, especially with them trying to make a name for themselves.’’
Carter, now in his 15th season, would like to become a coach one day. Seasons like the one coming up when dropping knowledge on the rookies is a mere step in that direction.
“Down the line I wouldn’t mind,’’ Carter said. “I like talking about the game, I like explaining the game.
“Coach (Rick Carlisle) always ask me just speak with these guys, and I enjoy it. It’s fun for me, and as long as it helps, then that’s all that matters.’’
Carter is a seven-time All-Star who has career averages of 21.4 points and 5.1 rebounds per game. He has been around the block a time or two, so whatever he can pass along to the Mavs’ rookies would be very helpful from the organization’s standpoint.
“I enjoy helping young guys and bringing them along,’’ Carter said. “It’s good for me as well -- it keeps me young.
“For them to come in and they were like, ‘Man, I didn’t think you would be like this.’ I said I just want us to win and they’re going to be an important part. They might play big minutes, they might not, but at the same time they have to be ready to go.’’
-- Dwain Price
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