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July 16, 2007

Ratner re-signs Carter

vince_carter_sig.jpgNets owner Bruce Ratner re-signed free-agent veteran guard/forward Vince Carter to great fanfare:

Bergen Record, Nets shower VC with money, affection

After giving Carter about 66 million reasons to stay, the Nets made the All-Star shooting guard feel even more wanted with Friday's news conference that was part spectacle and part tribute.

Carter returned the love before signing the guaranteed four-year deal worth $61.8 million with a partially guaranteed ($4 million) fifth-year team option, saying he has unfinished business with the Nets and that he couldn't see himself in another uniform.

The NY Times, The Nets Re-Sign Carter and Lose Moore to Kings

The pomp and pageantry suggested a major event — indeed, the Nets’ principal owner, Bruce Ratner, called it “one of the most exciting moments in Nets franchise history.”

Carter signed a contract that guarantees the Nets will be much the same team for the foreseeable future. The proceedings seemed slightly disproportionate to the act.

NY Daily News, Vince inks to stay 'home' with Nets
There was never any doubt that the Nets and Carter would come to terms:

After Vince Carter became a free agent two weeks ago, he never took a recruiting visit to another city and he told his agent not to fill him in on the details of what other teams were offering.
...
"It's all about being happy," said Carter, "and being in a place that feels like home."

As if the financial commitment to him weren't enough, the Nets went out of their way to make Carter feel wanted yesterday. The team's marching band, the Nets DrumLine, greeted visitors at the East Rutherford practice facility where the press conference was held. Inside, 50 kids from the Flatbush Youth Association and the Boys & Girls Club of Newark munched on sandwiches and candy. There were balloons, a video highlight presentation and a videotaped message from a vacationing Jason Kidd, who told Carter, "Dinner's on you until I retire."

NoLandGrab: Carter's re-signing was never in question, since he was widely regarded as Ratner's pet player.

The Nets hope that the Carter deal will counter Ratner's rap as the stingy rich guy who cut loose marquee player Kenyon Martin and is weathering a three-year decline in the franchise because he's only interested in the team in order to move it to his brand new arena in Brooklyn. The irony is that by surpassing the luxury cap to keep aging stars, Ratner is putting off a badly needed rebuilding effort.

Too bad for taxpayers that Ratner has money to blow on aging veterans, but won't forgo the "signing bonus" from the 421-a reform bill, which will cost the taxpayers an estimated $300 million.

Posted by lumi at July 16, 2007 8:26 AM