I believe Vince Carter needs to retire as a member of the Toronto Raptors. A lot of my reasons why have already been made for me and may be repeats to Raptors fans who’ve watched the “Re-Imagining of Vince Carter” which recently aired on Sportsnet. Vince Carter came to the Raptors franchise during its infancy when there were many questions whether Toronto and Vancouver could support NBA franchises. Drafting Vince Carter put the Raptors on the map because of his highlight reel dunks, exciting play, and bold personality (during his rookie year, he boasted that next season “we will be a playoff team”). Carter’s words rung true as he carried them to the playoffs the following year. The Raptors were an exciting team to watch; not so the aforementioned Vancouver Grizzlies. They are now the Memphis Grizzlies because Vancouver never gelled as a team, or had a player like Vince, to bring the excitement of basketball to the community.
Despite all the efforts and career success of Steve Nash, Vince Carter has been dubbed by some prominent young Canadian players the “Godfather” of basketball in this country. Tristan Thompson (a Scarborough product now starting for the Cleveland Cavaliers) upon meeting Vince Carter for the first time, told him “You’re my Michael Jordan”. That is high praise for anyone as Jordan is arguably the best NBA player of all time. So many of these great Canadian kids in the NBA and coming out of College credit Vince for their interest in basketball. Players from Thompson to Anthony Bennett to Andrew Wiggins; none of these players may have been heard of if it weren’t for Vince Carter’s influence on Canada basketball and the Toronto Raptors. Even Terrence Ross paid homage to Vince while winning the Dunk competition last season by wearing a classic Carter jersey. With all this said, I believe it is time to forgive Vince, if you are one of the haters. When Vince wants to leave the NBA, let’s give him a 10 day contact to finish his career as a Toronto Raptor, and retire his number 15. Our Toronto Raptors need to embrace and reward Vince, the “biggest”and best player in our franchise’s history.
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