In one month after this article is posted, Vince Carter will be 38 years old. If I had to guess, I would say that Carter, now of the Memphis Grizzlies, has jumped at least 10,000 times, dunked 1,000 times and dunked on someone 100 times. The man's knees, ligaments, tendons and bones have the equivalent of 300,000 miles on them, and outside of a few early hiccups and regular maintenance, Carter's body has kept right on a rolling down the road.
Sometimes when youngsters on the road pull up next to a vehicle that looks like it's been through hell and back, they have a tendency to sneer and laugh. The paint's chipped, the tires are worn down and the interior cloth lining has seen better days. The old folks always say to never judge a book by its cover, and while the outer appearance might be dilapidated, the engine that powers the vehicle on the inside can make all the difference.
Maybe this is what happened to Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz on Monday night. Maybe Gobert sneered at the thought of Carter's old and weary knees being able to elevate over his 7'1" frame. Maybe Gobert chuckled at the sight of Carter's salt and pepper beard trying to dunk on him. Maybe Gobert was just a young punk who needed a humbling and should respect his elders like he was taught as a young boy back in Saint-Quentin, Aisne, France.
Or maybe, Vince Carter's just a Hall of Fame basketball player who was put on this Earth to show the world what dunking on people is all about.
Eddie Maisonet is the founder and editor emeritus of The Sports Fan Journal. Currently, he serves as an associate editor for ESPN.com. He is an unabashed Russell Westbrook and Barry Switzer apologist, owns over 100 fitteds and snapbacks, and lives by Reggie Jackson’s famous quote, “I am the straw that stirs the drink.”