Another Vince Carter visit, another lame question-and-answer session.
The New Jersey Nets star returned to the Air Canada Centre for the third time as a visitor last night and, as usual, was surrounded by reporters looking for pearls of wisdom from Carter before the morning shootaround. Of course, none came and he wasn't about to reminisce about Toronto.
"I'm here to put it aside," he said. "It's business now. I need to focus now on what I need to do for the team. All that emotion and stuff is last year and that game here (last April). Now, I have a job to do and it's important for me to come out here and do what I need to do for the team."
Carter referred to the time of the big trade as "educational." When asked to clarify, he gave a long-winded response.
"I've just learned a lot, just situations, seeing new things and not only the way NBA works but just in a new city," he said.
As he did before his first game against the Raptors as a Net, Carter took time to praise ex-mate Jalen Rose.
"For all the negative things that have been said about Jalen in the past and to actually get the opportunity to play with him as a teammate and just see the passion and love he has for the game, I laugh at things that people say," Carter said. "All Jalen wants to do is win and he loves playing basketball and loves life. There is nothing wrong with those things."
The one-time North Carolina star also was asked about playing on the U.S. Olympic team in Bejing in 2008 under Duke coach Mike Kryzewski. With the national team looking at three-year commitments to the program from its players, Carter, a new father, doubts whether he could make that work.
Nets coach Lawrence Frank probably baffled Toronto fans with this quote after the game.
"Vince (Carter) is such an unselfish guy," he said. "You guys know that in Toronto. He's such a team-first guy."
With Carter in town, the game last night drew 18,586 fans, up from 18,106 for the season opener against the Washington Wizards.