Carter Recalls Most Infamous Dunk With Surprise Twist

After pulling off one of the most infamous dunks in basketball history, Vince Carter had no clue he had dunked over his defender until hours later.
by Kyle Ramos
Writer, Digital

Arguably the greatest in-game dunk ever captured on camera went unnoticed by the dunker himself, Vince Carter.

In the 2000 Olympic Games, Carter, a member of Team USA’s basketball roster, was pitted against France in a heated competition when VC stole the ball and proceeded to throw down a jam that’s been replayed millions of times.

On the 17th anniversary of his famous play, the NBA veteran recounted what was going through his head during the jaw-dropping moment and his side of the story came with a surprise twist: Vince had no idea that he had just jumped over a seven footer.

“When it actually happened I actually did not know that I had jumped over Frederic [Weis],” said Carter. “I saw him there, I stole the ball, take the two dribbles and jump and I’m looking at the rim. I don’t even remember seeing him there. I remember the initial touch of the shoulder and that’s it.”

The video shows a strong reaction from Carter and teammate Kevin Garnett following the throwdown, but according to Air Canada, they were on two different pages.

“Funny thing about [the dunk], I was celebrating for a totally different reason than everybody thinks I was celebrating,” Carter said. “KG was obviously celebrating the actual dunk, what he witnessed. I’m celebrating the dunk because I had thought I had jumped to far, so I thought I was going to get hung up (on the rim). I leaned forward thinking I wasn’t going to reach. That’s what I was celebrating, not the dunk over him.”

After what had just transpired, you would assume that a bucket like that would be the talk of the huddles for Team USA, but that was also not the case according to VC.

“There was 12 or 15 guys [on the team] and nobody said anything,” Carter said. “From that point [of the dunk] through the rest of the game, during timeouts, nobody said anything. So the entire game I knew nothing.”

It was not until after the game that a friend of Team USA teammate Gary Payton approached Carter with footage of the dunk which was captured on a personal camcorder. Later on when Vince asked the others on why they gave him the silent treatment he was met with a surprising response.

“I asked how come they didn’t say anything to me and they told me they were still in shock. So they didn’t really know what to say.”

Watch the complete interview below:

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