You hear it and see it all the time: Vince Carter's next injury is just around the corner. He will wince, dog it, and the Nets' season will be over. It happens all the time, the pundits claim. It's as certain as summer fading into fall, the winter snows.
But it's not true.
In spite of all that punditry and conventional wisdom, Carter is not injury prone, at least not since he joined the Nets. Among the top 50 players who've been in the league at least four years, Carter ranks fifth in terms of fewest games lost. He has missed only 14 games, tied for fifth with Dirk Nowitzki. Of that total, he's missed nine with the Nets, none of which the team won. Even if the analysis covered five years rather than four, Carter is still in the top five, missing only 23 games.
Who qualifies as a star for the purpose of this analysis? In putting it together, we looked those who have been all-NBA, all-Stars, Olympians, individual award winners, highest paid players, etc. We think we've come up with a list that would cover anyone's definition of a "star" player.
Here's the list, broken down by games lost:
Tayshaun Prince (0); Dwight Howard (0); Andre Igoudala (6).
Ben Gordon (12); Vince Carter and Dirk Nowitzki (14); Lebron James (16); Steve Nash (17); Chauncey Billups and Rasheed Wallace (19).
Jason Kidd (21); Tony Parker (22); Kevin Garnett, Kobe Bryant Shawn Marion and Ben Wallace (23); Tim Duncan (24); Joe Johnson and Richard Hamilton (25); Antwan Jamison (29); Paul Pierce (30).
Carmelo Anthony (31); Allen Iverson (34); Mike Bibby (36); Rashard Lewis and Mike Miller (38); Manu Ginobili (40).
Chris Bosh (41); Ray Allen (44); Al Jefferson (47); Michael Redd (48).
Lamar Odom (51); Brad Miller (58); Kevin Martin (60).
Tracy McGrady (66); Pau Gasol (67).
Gilbert Arenas and Zach Randolph (71); Dwyane Wade (74); Andrei Kirilenko (76); Emeka Okafor , Elton Brand and Richard Jefferson (80).
Amare Stoudemire (84); Yao Ming and Stephon Marbury (88); Carlos Boozer (89).
Shaquille O'Neal (95); David West (96).
Jermaine O'Neal (122); Stevie Francis (126); Kenyon Martin (129).