Jalen Rose recalls Vince Carter wrestling coach in Toronto


rose-carterFormer NBA Jalen Rose has played with Denver Nuggets, Indiana Pacers, Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors and Phoenix Suns during his career. He has recently recalled his time with the Toronto Raptors.

Rose played 13 years in the NBA, appearing in 923 games (572 started), averaging 14.3 ppg, 3.8 apg and 3.4 rpg in 30.3 minutes of action.

To be more specific, Rose recalled how his former teammate, Vince Carter fought (wrestled) the team’s then-coach Sam Mitchell, Canada’s National Post reported.

According to the story, Carter was sitting on a training table in Portland when Sam Mitchell stopped by. Carter was nearing the end of his run with the Toronto Raptors, perpetually injured and visibly unhappy, and Mitchell made a comment about “always being injured, and always being on the training table.”

Carter poked Mitchell. The coach poked the player. They began to wrestle. Carter got an arm underneath Mitchell’s crotch, lifting him up and slamming down him to the ground.

“Boom!” said Rose, narrating his version of the events for the website Grantland.com. “There ain’t nothing you can do about it.”

There was one thing Mitchell could do: He has denied the incident took place.

“First of all, I’m not that stupid, to fight a player,” the old coach said in an interview with National Post last year. “Second of all, I’m too old for that. I mean, I still think I’ve got a certain level of toughness in me. But my mind tells me, ‘These kids are young, man … I’d get my ass whipped.’ ”

“They weren’t fighting,” Rose said with a smile. “See how he minced his words there?”

“I don’t know why Sam acts like I was not telling the truth,” Rose said. “What am I going to lie for? I was standing right there.”

It has nothing to do with any grudge with Mitchell, he said, just the truth.

“It wasn’t a ‘slam,’ but he threw him down,” Rose said. “And that’s what happens when you’re a coach in the training room, thinking you’re the old-school tough guy and you’re going to show Vince what it takes to be mean and rough. You get put on your back.”

Further speaking about Vince Carter, Rose said he had become “a transcendent player in Toronto,” adding Carter is still “the greatest Raptor in team history.”

“I mean, this guy could walk into practice and do a reverse 360 eating a sandwich,” Rose said. “I’m serious. I’ve seen him do it. He’s eating breakfast. I’m like, ‘lemme see you do it right now.’ And he would do it.”

“Eventually, it’s time to let it go,” Rose said. “He was ‘Air Canada’ while he was here … and I’m pretty sure that, when he goes into the hall of fame, it’s going to be as a Toronto Raptor.”


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