Carter recalls relinquishing starting spot to MJ at 2003 All-Star Game
Jamie Squire / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Leading up to the 2003 NBA All-Star Game, Vince Carter faced mounting pressure from fans, the media, and his peers to give up his starting spot on the Eastern Conference team to Michael Jordan.

Carter, then a member of the Toronto Raptors, was reluctant at first, but ultimately stepped aside for Jordan in what would be His Airness' 14th and final All-Star appearance.

He reflected on the decision in an interview with The Undefeated's Aaron Dodson.

"I told him, 'You're taking this spot,'" Carter recalled whispering to Jordan in a pregame huddle. "I told him he wasn't getting me blackballed from the league. ... He kept saying, 'No, no, no. You earned it.' I said, 'Yeah ... but this is your last one. So you're gonna take the spot.' If he didn't, I was gonna walk back into the tunnel and into the locker room so he wouldn't have had a choice."

Carter was still introduced as a starter at Philips Arena in Atlanta, drawing boos from the crowd. It was then announced that Jordan would be starting in his place.

"I thought it was important that Vince be listed and be acknowledged as the starter," said Isiah Thomas, who coached the 2003 Eastern Conference All-Stars. "And after giving up his position, we could honor Michael Jordan. I felt like they both should've been acknowledged. ... It was a great stand-up moment, and it spoke volumes to me about the person and the man that Vince Carter is."

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Carter recalls relinquishing starting spot to MJ at 2003 All-Star Game
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