News flash: Carter happy

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 8:05 AM ET

It was more of a grenade than a bombshell, but Vince Carter did launch a verbal salvo yesterday that was quite illuminating.

Despite the many off-court problems he has been dealing with lately -- the booing at the Air Canada Centre, the on-line threats -- Carter insisted he is still happy in Toronto and has not pushed the trade agenda, at least not lately.

"I'm happy, man. Like I said before, if I wasn't happy and I didn't enjoy being here, I wouldn't have donated a playground to kids. I wouldn't do stuff like that," Carter said, following yesterday's morning shootaround at the American Airlines Arena in Miami.

"That's stuff I enjoy doing. I don't have to do it. I do it and I've done if for years, because I've wanted to do it."

The story is about as old as the wind by now. Carter asked to be traded last summer, has been roundly booed in Toronto, even received a death threat. But there he was yesterday, insisting that everything is fine in his life, including his life as a Raptor.

A HOT COMMODITY

Of course, playing well helps.

Carter has been hot lately, even if the team has not been. Over the past four games, entering last night against the Miami Heat, Carter had averaged 23 points, 4.5 rebounds, 4.5 free-throw attempts and had shot 52% from the field.

A trade is not foremost on his mind at the moment.

"My approach is just to play basketball. I haven't said a word (about a trade) on purpose, because it's not my place," he said. "If it happens it happens. If it doesn't, it doesn't. I still need to come and put my uniform on and do my job, night in and night out."

Carter said again that the booing and all the other unpleasantness that has come in the wake of his trade request last summer has not taken a toll.

"It's not tough at all," he said. "I know my job. I'm not a weak-minded person, I can separate the two. I can separate all that stuff, and still come out and play basketball. It was tough for me, but it's all about trying to figure out things. Everybody goes through new situations, and I'm fine.

"When I step within those lines (on the court), it's like sanctuary. You can't run from it, you never can, but I deal with that off the court, when it's time to deal with it. But on the court, my job is to go out there and play."


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