The same night, the Nets greeted their biggest star in Kyrie Irving and said goodbye to the most spectacular star they ever had when Vince Carter played his last game in Brooklyn.
Carter, who turns 43 on January 26, played his last game in New York on Sunday. The ex-net had eight points, three steals and two rebounds in 14 minutes and 27 seconds and repeated ovations from the crowd.
"It is always great to get a standing ovation when you come in or out of the game." It's always special when it's a team that I played for before, ”said Carter, who went to the center court and waved to then acknowledge the crowd. "Coming back here – and getting some of the other stops I've played for – and getting a standing ovation one last time is great."
Carter checked in and applauded 6:38 in the first quarter and again late in the second. He was honored with a graphic on the video board. Given that Carter is the third top scorer at Nets ever, it is likely that the franchise is honoring him by stepping down from # 15.
"We had fun. We had a very good team with many highlights. I made some pretty good friends. Five years are a long time here," said Carter. But like some of the guys I played with [Richard Jefferson]. [Jason Kidd] and Devin Harris, with whom I still speak regularly. "
Carter was asked about the prospect of wearing his jersey in the rafters after the Brooklyn Brigade sang "Retire 15!"
"Whenever people talk about it, you say," Hey, I would never deny it, "said Carter." If you look up here at the rafters and see the group of people up there, if I one day or that opportunity get that honor, i'm fine if i go up there with people who look up like doctor j and me a great team mate like j-kidd. ”
His jersey may not be in the rafters, but it may be in Irving's pocket. The Star Guard, who had grown up as a fan of New Jersey Nets and was watching Carter, was wearing his basketball idol's jersey.
"It was a child's dream to see Vince Carter and Jason Kidd and the New Jersey Nets playing, but especially Vince Carter. He did some amazing things, it was incredible to watch as a child," said Irving. "I don't want to take for granted how much of his life he gave to sacrifice his time with his family and friends to play basketball for so long. Getting involved in such a craft is astounding. That's where his name comes from: Half-Man, Half-Amazing.
"Big fan, it will always be. I have his jersey in my book pocket. Yes, I am a happy child from New Jersey Nets. "
Irving said he would play jazz and Philadelphia duels on Tuesday and Wednesday.