February 2, 2004 -- Vince Carter, the reigning Eastern Conference Player of the Week, recently stopped by the NBA Store on Fifth Avenue for a belated welcome to the metropolitan area. Carter appeared on Center Court to meet-and-greet fans and answer questions as they welcomed him as the newest addition to the New Jersey Nets. Carter also spent time with NBA News, discussing, among other things, All-Star Weekend and the possibility of sharing court time in Denver with former Tar Heel teammate Antawn Jamison.

Perennial All-Star Vince Carter is averaging over 24 points since joining the Nets in December.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Q: Youíre always among the top vote-getters for the All-Star Game each year. What does that mean to you?

Carter: It means a lot. I canít tell you the secret as to why it happens, because I donít know, and I donít plan on figuring it out. I think itís just an appreciation the fans have for what I bring to the game and my enjoyment of the game.

All-Star Weekend is a fun time, not only for the players to wind down and have a good time, but for the fans to see the guys playing their summertime basketball, which is a lot less structured, but itís a lot of fun. Iím very thankful that despite being a little unlucky with injuries in the past, to be near the top of fansí hearts during All-Star time.

Q: Itís possible that you might be reunited with your former Tar Heel teammate Antawn Jamison on the East squad at the All-Star Game. What would that mean to you?

Carter: That would be great, especially for Antawn finally getting the recognition I think he deserves. Heís been playing his butt off all year. I donít have much say in the league as to who gets in, but he deserves to be in there. My buddyís sitting on pins and needles right now hoping for the opportunity to possibly play. Heís really helped turn the Wizards around, of course with the help of [Gilbert] Arenas and [Larry] Hughes. Iím proud of him.

Q: Outside of playing in the game, do you plan on attending a lot of parties?

Carter: Not really, no. Itís been a long season for me. In Toronto, before I was traded, we had a tough road schedule, and we just finished a month of road games, so this is my time to kind of wind down and relax. I just havenít had much time, and I just want to be strong the second half of the season.

Q: Do you see anymore dunk contests in your future?

Carter: You never know. I want to be 100 percent healthy and be able to give the fans what they want and especially something they havenít seen. There are still some dunks that Iíve never seen anyone do that I can do, but Iím not quite ready for them.

Q: If you could pick any thee players, past or present, to compete in a dunk contest with, who would they be?

Carter: Definitely Dr. J, Michael Jordan and Connie Hawkins.

Q: The Nets started slowly. What does the team have to do to turn it around and make a run at the playoffs?

Carter: I think weíre doing pretty good right now. Weíre right in it. Itís more just a matter of adjusting to each otherís games, and that takes time.

Q: What team or player has impressed or surprised you the most in the first half of the season?

Carter: LeBron [James] has done it all for the Cavs this year Ė very impressive. Iíd have to say him.