May 2001: Vince Carter attends graduation ceremony
Vince Carter's decision to attend his North Carolina commencement on the same day the Raptors played Game 7 in Philadelphia remains arguably the most divisive moment in team history. Since both sides felt so strongly about Carter’s polarizing choice, we have decided to present both points of view. Carter himself will first defend his controversial decision, followed by a counter-argument from former teammate, Charles Oakley.
I Am an NBA Role Model
Point by Vince Carter
May 20th, 2001 was one of the proudest days of my life. Not only was I playing in the NBA playoffs, but I fulfilled an important promise that I made to my mother years ago: to graduate from college. My decision to attend the ceremony and wear my Carolina blues one last time allowed me to not only celebrate this achievement, but it also allowed me to do something even more special—be a strong role model. See, it is important for NBA players to ensure that young people understand the value of education, and for the NBA itself to support academic institutions. And if my decision made just one more child dream about going to college, well…that means more to me than any basketball game.
You Are a Fucking Pussy
Counterpoint by Charles Oakley
Are you fuckin’ with me you ankle-grabbin’ scrote-throater? And here I thought the 5 years since that game would have wised up your faggity-ass to your mistake. For one, this is the NBA, not mothafuckin’ Reach For The Top—The League is about makin’ goddamn benjamins, not learnin’ dumb-ass kids. Take that last rule uppin’ the age of players getting drafted—you actually think that’s to help schools? Give that crotch-divin’ head of yours a shake! That’s to keep peckerwood GMs from blowin’ their wads on young bitches who don’t have the grissel to play in a man’s league. Bitches like you. But fo shiggity, Oak will give you props for going back south and getting that degree, but struttin’ yo’ jigglywack ass across the stage? That shit was straight-up Hollywood! And what kind of role model you think you were that day, son? What those goddamn silver spoons needed to have rammed through their earholes was to get off their gravy-catchin’ asses and get a mothafuckin’ job. And you? You actually had a job, and decided to skip work on the most important day for the company. Nice fuckin’ role model.
That’s why when Oak gave the keynote address at Virginia Union last year, I didn’t just go off flippin’ at the jibs, I served my shit straight: “The world is filled with pussies and liars, and right now, you’re probably one of them. But you have a choice: you can go through life easily, swayin’ with your weak-ass backbone and values, or, you can look life in straight in the grill, and let it know that it can come at you anytime…and it may even knock you down…but not before it gets its mothafuckin’ ass fanned out first.”