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#RespectReplay: Vince Carter, Frederic Weis and the ‘Dunk of Death’

18 years later, one monumental dunk decided two players’ destinies

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Roberto Schmidt and Darren McNamera/Getty Images

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September 4, 2018

Eighteen years ago, US Basketball’s Vince Carter cleared France’s Frederic Weis on the fly for a dunk so vicious the French named it le dunk de la mort—the dunk of death. For Vince, it cemented his status as the generational master of the dunk, basketball's status-making physical feat. But for the French center that Vince dunked on, Frederic Weis, it became an embarrassment that essentially derailed his basketball career.

 

Weis had been drafted by the Knicks in 1999; he would never play for them. The dunk made Weis a punchline and the Frenchman claims that he spent ten years avoiding the highlight. His basketball career had frayed after le dunk de la mort because of a lingering back issue, one that eventually required surgery.

 

"Life got complicated," Weis told ESPN in 2015. And if something doesn't feel right, you don't have to do it. I moved on to something else."

Eventually, Weis made peace with the le dunk de la mort, even enlisting a pro basketball player to recreate it at a dunk contest last year.

 

As for Vince, he's still doing his thing.