DALLAS -- Vince Carter didn't earn the nickname "Vinsanity" for nothing. The guy could put together an aerial highlight reel that was absolute pure insanity.
Now nearing 35, Carter doesn't reach the same altitude as he once did and, frankly, he's not trying to.
"I’m not really into trying to jump over people anymore," Carter said during his Dallas debut at Tuesday's media day. "Over the years, with experience, you don’t really realize the risk of doing some of that stuff. And, it takes a toll on your body. So, I save it for special moments, whenever that is. I can still do it. Just, I think now, particularly some of the young guys in here now, they feel like, ‘Hey, I’ve got to get there first. I don’t want to be on the poster of an old guy.’ I get that, so now I just figure, when you get there, two points is two points."
And no longer is Carter, who took part in his first full practice Wednesday morning with Dallas, trying to be the superstar. He's been on eight All-Star teams and won a dunk contest, but rarely has he played on a team that did much damage in the postseason and he wants that to change.
Carter said that's all he's about right -- winning -- and fitting into whatever role is necessary to help make that happen. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle said owner Mark Cuban compared Carter to Jerry Stackhouse when he arrived in Dallas after years of putting up gaudy scoring numbers, but with little postseason satisfaction.
"I don’t think that that’s a bad comparison at all," Carlisle said. "It’s just going to be a matter of what the exact role is going to be -- whether he’s going to start or whether he’s going to come off the bench. At this point I would expect that he probably would be a starter, but we’ll have to see. We have a ways to go before we determine that."
Carter's odds of starting drastically increased with Tuesday's trade that sent Rudy Fernandez and Corey Brewer to the Denver Nuggets. Fernandez's departure allows the 6-foot-6 Carter to start at shooting guard next to his former New Jersey teammate Jason Kidd (who Carter said he did not speak to in the process of joining the Mavs), with Jason Terry in his familiar sixth man role.
Rodrigue Beaubois, who Carlisle described as a depth player Tuesday, would pick up whatever playing time afforded -- and, again, in this compacted schedule Carlisle plans to utilize his depth.
“You kind of get an idea with this team it’s just to make plays, knock down shots,” Carter said. “There’s going to be a lot of opportunity with the attention that Dirk Nowitzki demands when he has the ball in the middle of the floor. So you have to play within the flow of the offense and you go from there.
“I think as they learn me and I kind of fit in to the offense and see how to get your opportunity, that’s when it’ll become more defined.”
For Carter, entering his 14th season, he said it's no longer about the dunks or the number of points he scores of the amount of minutes he plays.
"Winning," Carter said when asked what's most important to him now. "And playing on a team that wants to win and knows how to win. They’ve shown all of that. It’s my goal to come in just to fit in with what they’ve accomplished and who they are."