NBA: When Vince Carter Made a Mark on Alonzo Mourning

Vince Carter signals to his teammates during a game against the Bobcats
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Throughout its history, the National Basketball Association has seen countless amounts of spectacular dunks. If you truly think about it, this is something that should come to the surprise of no one. As time has passed, the game itself has evolved. And with it, so have the players who’ve stepped onto the hardwood at the sport’s highest level. These individuals have started to defy what we ever thought was humanly possible.

Thanks to their freakish athleticism, these physically gifted specimens have continued to push the boundaries every time they soar through the air, looking to make a statement by decimating the bucket. Yet, as far as vicious slams are concerned, there is something else we’ve come to realize: There is a big difference between a memorable dunk and a memorable dunker. It’s one thing to put yourself on the map through a single moment of glory. It’s a totally different thing to make it a regular occurrence.

If you’re able to do such a thing, if you can make unleashing epic dunks part of your calling card, then you will most assuredly secure a special place in history. When it comes to players such as this, there are very few — if any — on the same level as Vince Carter. With that in mind, in this edition of “Throwback Throwdowns,” we take things back to the 2005-06 season, a time when Carter left an indelible mark on Alonzo Mourning.

On November 7, 2005, the New Jersey Nets traveled to Miami to take on the Heat in an early-season clash of two of the best teams in the Eastern Conference. While the fans in attendance at American Airlines Arena had to have attended that game expecting a hard-fought affair, there was no way they could’ve prepared themselves for what was about to come. And yet, we have a feeling that after witnessing Vinsanity firsthand, it was probably something they’ll never forget.

With under 11 minutes to go in the third quarter, the Nets had the ball, trailing the Heat 54-46. New Jersey’s Richard Jefferson attacked the basket, but his valiant effort was thwarted by shot-blocker extraordinaire, Mourning. Unfortunately for the Heat, Jason Williams’ inability to secure the loose ball provided the golden opportunity for the Nets, specifically Carter, to provide a little showtime. Carter prevented Williams from getting the basketball by wrapping it around his back. From that moment on, it was simply Vince being Vince.

Following one dribble to the basket, Carter took flight knowing full well that Mourning would be at the rim waiting to contest him. However, there is a reason they call Carter, “Half-Man, Half-Amazing,” as he absorbed the contact, brought the ball all the way back, and flushed it in Zo’s face with authority. The reaction of the Nets bench says it all. This was a dunk of epic proportions. In the end, New Jersey would go on to lose the game by a score of 90-89. But, let’s be real, the only thing anyone will ever remember is that Carter put Mourning on a poster.

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