Thursday, February 23, 2012
Vince Carter to host Obama fundraiser
By Jeff Caplan
DALLAS -- Of all the highfalutin' All-Star parties going down in Orlando over the next few days, only Vince Carter's shindig tonight will boast the leader of the free world.
The Dallas Mavericks swingman is hosting a $30,000-a-plate campaign fundraiser for President Barack Obama at his palatial Central Florida home.
"Hey, I didn't make the prices," Carter joked. "Believe me."
Carter met the president this summer at an event in Orlando. They hit it off and Carter visited with Obama's team in Chicago during the long offseason. He became a lead organizer for the Obama Classic, an campaign fundraising exhibition basketball game that was drawing some of the NBA's biggest past and current stars to play in Washington D.C.
That event scheduled for December ultimately was postponed because the NBA settled its labor dispute, but the White House didn't forget about Carter.
"I got a phone call from somebody from his office saying that he wanted to do something All-Star weekend, like have a dinner at my house and I was like, 'OK,'" Carter said, cracking a wide grin. "I said fine with me. It's cool, I'm excited about it."
Carter said he hasn't seen the official guest list but that it's grown from about 40 people to 70.
An eight-time All-Star, Carter played with the Orlando Magic for about a season and a half before moving onto the Phoenix Suns for the final 51 games last season. The Mavs signed him to a three-year contract in December and he's been a solid fit, averaging 10.9 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists in 24.5 minutes a game. His 44.0-percent shooting from 3-point range is best on the team.
At 35, Carter's All-Star days are done. But, he's more than happy to take on this All-Star assignment for a basketball-loving president.
"It's a good cause. For as much as he's criticized I think he's done a great job," Carter said. "That's a pressure situation to be in. It's just an honor to even be asked among all the people in the world to ask. Even just in the Orlando area there's a lot of prominent people who live there. I was asked and I was more than honored."