Wednesday night was no ordinary game for the Toronto Raptors. It was the return of Vince Carter. Nearly 10 years ago Carter was shipped to the then New Jersey Nets for Eric Williams, Aaron Williams, Alonzo Mourning and two first round draft picks. This move hit the Raptors hard. Trading away their franchise’s best player for Mourning who refused to join the Raptors with a injury and was soon bought out and returned to the Miami Heat. Eric and Aaron were two poor players and one draft pick was used on Joey Graham while the other was traded away. To date this was the worst trade in franchise history.
Raptor fans are never kind to Carter when he steps onto the court in the Air Canada Center, but last night it was different. The Raptors set up a video tribute for Carter in the first quarter. Carter was emotional when watching the video, tearing up and after 10 years of hatred the crowd finally applauded Carter. Carter then thanked the crowd wiping his tears from his shirt.”It was a great feeling,” Carter said. “I couldn’t write it any better.”
Carter has been a role model for Canadians if we’d like to admit or not. He put basketball in Canada on the map. From the likes of Andrew Wiggins who stated that his interest in basketball came from watching Vince Carter when he was on the Raptors. Vince Carter might have exited Toronto horribly but he will forever be a huge part in Raptor fans lives. From 2004-present Carter is 2nd on the Raptors All-Time Scoring list, 5th in rebounds, 4th in assists, 3rd in blocks, 3rd in steals, and the greatest Raptor of All-Time. “Air Canada,” “Half Man Half Amazing,” “Vinsanity,” call him what you want. When it’s all said and done Vince Carter’s jersey will be raised up in the rafters and he’ll be a legend forever.