Brown sick of whiners

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:21 AM ET

Raptors general manager Rob Babcock continues to say all the right things about his disgruntled superstar Vince Carter.

But the rest of the league isn't being so nice.

"Vince is a good person," Babcock repeated yesterday, when reached on his cellphone in Minneapolis. "He's a person who wants to play and wants to win and is professional."

The reason Babcock continues to heap praise, on Carter, who has demanded a trade out of Toronto, is that he is hoping the forward/guard shows up at camp next week at Brock University in St. Catharines.

If Carter decides to sit out camp, the Raptors, who have missed the playoffs the past two seasons, will be hard pressed to win games and Babcock will have an even difficult job trading him for equal value.

Meanwhile, GMs and coaches around the NBA continue to show Carter a minimum of respect. Many GMs have said they wouldn't give up big-name players for the Daytona Beach, Fla., native because he is soft and lacks leadership skills.

The latest top-flight exec to diss the perennial all-star was coaching legend Larry Brown, who guided the Detroit Pistons to the NBA title last season. Brown did not name Carter specifically in an interview with the Detroit Free Press, but you don't have to be a Scotland Yard detective to figure out whom the highly respected Brown is talking about.

"You know what irritates me?" Brown told the Free Press. "It's when I hear of a (maximum contract) player asking to be traded. That's the most unbelievably ludicrous comment I've ever heard, because when you demand a max contract, you're saying that you're committed to winning with them and leading the way. And then I hear these guys say they can't win there and need to go elsewhere. If that's the case, then you're not a max player."

Carter, who has a long-term deal with the Raps, said he wants out of Toronto because he doesn't want to be involved in the franchise rebuilding, with new coaches and players. Brown said the problem with such players is that they no longer hear the word "no" mentioned.

"Nobody has ever told them that before," he said. "They surround themselves with hangers-on whose only interest is doing whatever it takes to stay close to the money. They tell them that the name on the back of the jersey is more important than what it says on the front. How can we be surprised then when some young players have a hard time handling things that don't go their way?"

Prior to telling a favourite reporter that he wants out of Toronto, Carter let his mother, various friends and his agent, Mark Steinberg, make the requests for him.


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