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Vince Carter Got Quite The Reception In What Is Most Likely His Last Appearance In Toronto

Atlanta Hawks v Toronto Raptors

I was going to include this in my Last Night In The NBA blog, but then decided because Vince Carter is such a legend, this deserved its own separate blog. Much like Dirk, Vince is pretty much doing a farewell tour this season, even though selfishly I think he could keep playing. I think all the signs are pointing to him retiring and becoming an amazing broadcaster, probably for TNT, so as he makes his stops around the league he’s getting these type of receptions. However I was curious how his last time in TOR would go, because if you remember, these two didn’t exactly part ways on the best terms. It was a long time ago, so let me remind you how it all went down.

Back in 2001 Carter signed a big 6/94M deal despite showing signs of some knee issues. In 2004, things started to go south pretty quickly. Their GM and entire coaching staff was fired because they didn’t make the playoffs, Carter had beef with the President of the team at the time probably because he lied to Vince about the direction of the team and their plans of a rebuild. He felt that the team was giving him the run around and would never be an elite team in the East in their current structure, and secretly he went on and requested a trade out of Toronto.

Over the course of that 2004 season Carter found himself being benched by Sam Mitchell, things turned sour quick, and eventually his wish was granted and he was traded out of TOR to the Nets. When he first came back to his old stomping grounds, he was booed like crazy

They burned his jersey, had FUVC shirts, the whole nine yards. He then later admitted that there were times where he didn’t really push himself and try all that hard as a member of the Raptors, which is certainly not what you want to hear as a fan. It was one of these tricky situations where when you thought of the Toronto Raptors, you think of Vince Carter. For them to lose both him and Tracy McGrady and watch them flourish elsewhere had to be tough, but there was real hatred there for how things ended.

So it was cool to see that after all this time, the city and their fans have seemed to forgive Vince Carter. I think at this point enough time has gone by where they can just appreciate the living legend, and we got our first sign of that back in 2014 when they ran a tribute video as part of their 20 year anniversary that showed Vince.

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Fans booed, but those quickly turned to cheers, and I think maybe that was the final nail in the coffin of the hatred they may have had towards Vince. Fast forward 4 more years and you get the reaction we got last night. Given the reception we just saw with Kawhi, who was similar in that he wanted out of the only franchise he ever knew, it was interesting to see the difference in receptions. Granted part of this has to do with Carter most likely retiring, but you can tell finally being accepted back is a big deal for him.

Good on you Raptors fans, well done. And now, the highlights because why the hell not