Vince Carter does not mess around.
When you’re a 18-year veteran of the NBA, you don’t have the longest leash to give. You hold your teammates accountable, but you also hold your opponents accountable.
Devin Booker is young. Currently 20 years old, he was just 2 (and a half) when Vince Carter made his NBA debut. He’s a young super talent that has All-Star potential. He’s young, good at his craft, and rich--of course he’s going to be brash.
When being brash means talking trash to Vinsanity’s teammates or being overly physical against him, that leash goes from being short to microscopic.
Devin Booker wrote a check, and Vince Carter came to collect.
On February 9th, Troy Daniels hit a 3 despite a foul from Devin Booker. Troy, with the game well in-hand, wanted to talk his talk. Booker was not having it, probably because in that moment Troy Daniels hit more 3’s in the last 10 seconds than Booker did all game (which was 0. He hit 0 threes). The following scuffle ensued.
All in all, not the worst fight on an NBA court. No one threw punches or got suspended-- it was more of a “HOLD ME BACK!!” fight like most in the NBA.
Devin Booker, a flamethrower on the court, wanted to pour gasoline on the fire after the game while talking to the media. When asked about the kerfuffle, Devin Booker said of Troy Daniels:
“I don’t know why he’s talking to me. He’s been on five teams in three years and he has the nerve to talk trash to me.”
The Grizzlies did not forget.
First, presented without comment:
If you’re a neutral observer of the Grizzlies and Suns (Why were you watching that game if you were indeed neutral? Please get some help), it comes off as a pretty dirty elbow from Vince Carter.
It was way after the whistle, definitely deliberate, and knocked Devin Booker straight to the ground, whether or not his acting skills were in play. It was a play that for sure warranted Vince Carter’s ejection after the play.
In my best Stephen A. Smith voice: HOWEVER.
As a Grizzlies fan? It was quite enjoyable to see. Vince Carter, the elder statesman of the NBA, got to teach a Devin Booker a lesson. What was the lesson, you may ask. Was it to not talk trash to vets as a young player? Was it to not talk to the media about others’ careers in just your 2nd year? Was it all of the above?
I don’t know. Only Vince Carter really knows why he gave that elbow that clocked Devin Booker.
No matter what the reason, no matter how dirty the elbow was, did it feel good to watch it happen to a player who put down one of our own?
I’ll let Vince Carter’s face post-elbow tell you.
I just wish there was also a perfect representation of what happened that night, preferably recapped through an ironic messenger with a stake in the event.