The year Vince took the lead.
3. Mark Jackson, 8.5 pts, 9.2 ast, 1.2 stl
A slow, aging point guard with a giant ass and a knack for weighing floaters, Mark Jackson at the age of 35 discovered Showtime. Jackson setup Vince’s alley-oops which essentially involved throwing the ball somewhere in the vicinity of the rim only for Vince to course-correct and create another highlight. Jackson got on ESPN more that year than he had in his previous 13 years. Right place, right time.
2. Antonio Davis, 13.7 pts, 10.1 reb, 3.4 ast
Going up strong with two hands each and every single time finally paid off in his lone All-Star appearance. The Davis/Oakley combination meshed the strength of Indiana’s Davis Brothers with the meanness of New York. The movie version might portray two longtime rival boxers putting their differences aside for the common good. Sometimes I think of the post-Jordan era as a post-war era for basketball; the armies had dispersed, new alliances formed and new contenders emerging.
1. Vince Carter, 27.6 pts, 5.5 reb, 3.9 ast, 1.5 stl, 1.1 blk
Everyone has a Vince Carter moment. It’s the one that flashes through your mind when you hear the name. It became a muscle memory when it was soldered to your brain from the moment you first saw it. Mine has to do with the punishment inflicted on Theo Ratliff. What’s yours?