On Sunday the Toronto Raptors celebrate their 15th year in the league.
It has been a pretty quiet 15 years with just a couple playoff wins.
This Raptor team with stars like Bosh, Bargnani, Calderon and Turkoglu is on paper, possibly the best Toronto line up we have ever seen.
On Sunday they play the super talented Orlando Magic. I don’t expect a win but I do expect an interesting storyline…
In a pretty ironic turn of events, The Raps celebrate their 15th year the same game that Vince returns to Toronto as a member of the Magic (Raptor’s played Magic earlier but Vince was a scratch).
We all know how he was greeted as a member of the Nets. A chorus of boo’s pretty much every time he touched the ball. A lot of people thought Raptor fans should have let it go, but it added a lot to those games. Most of the time, both Toronto and NJ were pretty mediocre squads. A game like that would usually be met with yawns, but with the added Vince hatred it became must see TV(even better to be there and BOOOOOO in person).
There were some great moments, wins over NJ were met with thunderous applause and a glowing knowledge of “We got you Vince”. It also made for some very sobering moments of Vince almost single handedly beating the Raps. I am sure he savoured those personal victories.
Now Vince comes home as the member of another team. A team that didn’t rape us trade wise, a talented team that would generate interest without Vince. How should we greet him?
Even though I am puking in my mouth as I type this…I say Toronto should cheer Vince. Better yet, let’s see a standing ovation!
It pains me to all for that – but it has been years. We have a whole new crop of players to cheer for. We don’t need the Vince hate anymore.
Let’s also face facts here…Vince put the Raptors on the map. He was the first superstar on the team (the only besides Bosh?) and he had all of Toronto and the NBA world entranced. Remember the Kobe for Vince trade rumours? Or the Vince could be the next Jordan talk?
I don’t think it is too far fetched to say that the Raptors might not even be around if it wasn’t for Vince. He sold tickets and helped the Raptor’s win. The Grizzlies had similar attendance to the pre-Vince Raptor’s and the NBA didn’t waste time by snatching them from Canada and putting them in Memphis (horrible knee jerk mistake by the NBA btw).
If you are a raptors fan you have both loved and hated Vince Carter. I think now that we look back at 15 years in the league, it is time to let it go. Let’s honor the man who played as big a part as anyone in those 15 years.
On Sunday when Vince is announced…pretend it is the 2001 playoffs and Vince hit that final shot in Philly.