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Vince Carter on Hall of Fame nomination: ‘an unbelievable honor’

‘It’s a VC 3!’ ‘Half man, half amazing!’ You know all the calls if you’ve been around. But the next call for Vince Carter will be the best, the one telling him come to Springfield.

Miami Heat v New Jersey Nets - Game 3 Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images

While Vince Carter is most closely associated with the Toronto Raptors, where he began and popularized basketball in hockey-mad Canada, his time in New Jersey often gets overlooked. He played almost as many games in the Meadowlands as he did in Air Canada Center — 374 to 403 — and actually averaged more points — 23.6 to 23.4. His assists, rebounds and shooting percentage were also higher in New Jersey.

Indeed of the 25,728 points he scored for eight different NBA teams across four decades, a third of them, 8,834 points, came in those games for the Nets over five seasons. (VC, it should always be noted, missed only 11 games in New Jersey, all of them losses.)

And of course, there were the classic calls by Ian Eagle who VC now sits aside on YES Network broadcasts. Here’s an hour of them from our old friend, MaxaMillion711.

So when Carter likely enters the Hall of Fame in August, Nets fans can feel just as much pride as those north of the border will. And we never booed him!

Brian Lewis caught up with VC this week during his YES duties, days after he was nominated for the Hall.

“It’s an honor. Everybody feels one way about, ‘Oh, this has happened or hasn’t happened.’ Me on the other side, I was like, ‘I hear you, but the reality is you never know until you know.’ And to hear your name, it becomes a reality,” Carter told The Post. “It’s an unbelievable honor just to be at this stage of it. You never know what happens. Some people say it’s a shoe-in. I don’t know. But one foot’s in the door.”

The way the process works, players, coaches and others get nominated in December, Finalists are then announced February 16 in Indianapolis during NBA All-Star weekend. The 2024 class will be unveiled during the NCAA Final Four in Phoenix on April 6, with the enshrinement ceremony slated for August 17 at the Hall in Springfield, Mass.

“This is my first time sitting having a real conversation about this,” Carter told Lewis. “My mom … like, I just push it off. My mom’s like ‘Oh, man, congratulations. I’m so excited.’ I’m like, ‘OK, yeah, cool.’ I’m sure she’s sitting at home like, ‘What’s wrong with you?’ But it’s just a beginning. Now when you tell me I’m in, that’s a different ballgame. Whenever that is, I’ll be ready.”

Part of being ready will be looking around Springfield. He admitted to Lewis that he’s never visited despite being invited.

“I’ve never been,” Carter told The Post. “I just said I’ll wait. I almost went. I got offered to go last year for Dirk [Nowitzki]; I didn’t go. [Tracy McGrady] as well; I didn’t go. I said I’ll wait.”

Carter also is waiting another long overdue honor: having his No. 15 jersey hung in the rafters at Barclays Center. VC still holds a multitude of records and was much beloved by the Nets fanbase both in New Jersey when he played and in Brooklyn when he visited. It’s not just time. It’s well beyond time.