Wearing an iPod during warm-ups wasn’t enough to get Vince Carter out of Canada, but he might’ve found another way to press the eject button. Neither the Nets’ Carter nor any of the Raptors’ new acquisitions appeared in today’s 110-99 Toronto win over New Jersey, but Dr. Funk’s was all over the news just the same. The Tacoma News Tribune’s Frank Hughes wrote an explosive story that alleges the 5 time All Star intentionally sabotaged his former team in a game against Seattle last month.
Three members of the Seattle SuperSonics say they believe Carter intentionally tipped off a play during the final minute of the Raptors™ 101-94 loss to the Sonics in Toronto on November 19.
With 29 seconds remaining in that game and the Sonics leading 97-90, the Raptors called a timeout. After returning to the court, Carter lined up along the edge of the key. He was facing the Sonics™ bench with his hands on his knees. According to a member of the Sonics, before the play began, Carter said directly to the Seattle bench, œIt™s a flare. It™s a flare. Two other members of the Sonics confirmed that Carter told the Sonics bench that the Raptors were running the flare play.
The Raptors, inbounding the ball above the Sonics bench, then ran a flare play for Carter.
In the play, which Sonics scouts had observed was a common go-to play for the Raptors, Carter worked his way up the key on the near side as Sonics guard Ray Allen followed. At the elbow on the near side, Raptors forward Matt Bonner set a screen on Allen for Carter, who then flared toward the opposite corner. The pass from Morris Petersen was too long for Carter to handle easily, and, unable to make a clean shot attempt, he passed the ball to Bonner, who hit a 22-foot shot from the top of the key.
According to one member of the Sonics, the bench reacted immediately to what Carter said, with Sonics players saying, œDid you hear that? Did you see that? That™s (expletive) up.
Another member of the Sonics said he discussed the play with a coach after the game, and the coach said, œIf you ever do that, I™ll run you out of the league.
Allen, who was guarding Carter, said: œI didn™t hear it, but that™s what those other guys were saying (after the game), Reggie (Evans) and those other guys. But all I said was, ˜Why would he do that?™ I don™t know why he would do that.
When asked to detail the incident, Evans chose not to discuss specifics.
œI don™t want to get involved in that stuff, man, Evans said. œThat stuff is deep. I ain™t scared of Vince or nothing like that, but that is between him and his conscience. I ain™t saying it did happen or it didn™t happen. I™ll leave that for Ray. I™ll let Ray do all that type of talking, man.
œFor real. I™ll let Ray open his mouth, he is the one … who got into it with Kobe (Bryant), so I will just leave that alone. I don™t want to get into no beef with nobody.
Carter, reached through Raptors spokesman Jim LaBumbard, responded, œI™m not going to comment on something as ridiculous as that.
œI guess you could look at it both ways, Allen said œEither, he was being cocky and saying, ˜I am still going to score,™ or, ˜I don™t want you guys to let me make this shot.™
When asked if Carter was merely being cocky, one member of the Sonics said he did not believe so, pointing out that the Raptors were down seven points late in the game and that Carter had scored only 21 points.
Also, when asked if it were possible that Carter could have been trying to decoy the Sonics, the member of the Sonics said, œSure, but they ended up running the play he told us, so I don™t see how it could have been a decoy.
Asked why Carter would reveal the play, the Sonics member said, œWe were all under the impression that he was sabotaging his team because he was getting booed by the fans and he wanted to get traded.