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Give Vince A Break

Vince Carter's decision to attend his graduation
has earned him some heat.
That's too bad.

First of all, the Raptors didn't seem to suffer from it at all. They had a
chance to win the game, and the ball bounced out. Unfortunately, that's life.

Furthermore, he got back to Toronto five hours before game time, so it's not
like he rushed off the plane and got to the gym cold. He was ready. The fact
that he shot 6-18? C'mon.

In fairness to Carter, even though it's unkind to point it out, he hasn't
exactly made a living out of being a clutch performer. He's made a living out of
dunking and spectacular athleticism, but he's not shown a particular knack for the clutch.

The fact that he shot poorly in a huge game has more to do with his own
psychological makeup than with his attending graduation.

One other point here: in a time when education is being dismissed by many as
irrelevant for athletes (tell it to boxers whose millions disappear), the fact
that Vince Carter took his graduation seriously enough to attend it should be
celebrated, not scorned. The NBA, if they are serious about stemming the
influx of young players, should laud him.

On a similar note, Barry Jacobs, as he often does, makes a complicated
situation simple and understandable.
In his latest article,
he talks about education, bigotry, and how sports is
warping the perspective of hundreds of thousands of kids who think they are
bound for the big time.