Vince Carter was probably a little nostalgic when his former team came to Dallas last night. The Toronto Raptors were Carter’s first team and arguably the best years of his career. He dug the expansion team out of the cellar, led them to their first playoff appearance and first series win and even scored the first points in the Air Canada Centre.
He has a lot of fond memories of his time in Toronto, setting the foundation for his career.
"Winning the Rookie of the Year, winning the dunk contest, winning the first playoff game (for the Raptors), winning the first playoff series, you can't take that back,'' Carter said. "And that's where it all started for me. Whatever I accomplish from here, it had to all start from somewhere. Just like we all started from somewhere, we all remember our first.''
Even though Carter only played a little over six seasons in Toronto, not even half of his NBA career, he thinks he deserves to have his number retired by the Raptors and would even be open to returning.
"If the opportunity presents itself,'' Carter said. "You talk about playing basketball, I would love to play there. I know the court, I know my way around, so I'd feel comfortable, for sure.''
In his 15th season, there is no telling how much Carter has left in the tank. However, if he was treating last night as an audition for the Raptors to want him back, he did a good job. Carter scored 17 points in 26 minutes helping the Mavericks to a 109-104 victory.
As for the jersey retirement, it is not an outrageous request. Obviously the Raptors have a very short history, but Carter is easily the best player they have ever had. He is responsible for their only successful years and even though he left on pretty bad terms, he gave a lot to the city of Toronto. The Raptors and their fans may be a little split on the issue, but maybe a few more years with the team might sway the odds in Vince Carter’s favor.