1. Vince Carter
Over their two-decade plus relationship with Carter, Raptors fans have gone from being head over heels to bitterly estranged to falling in love all over again. It’s hard to imagine not only the Raptors, but basketball in Canada and the NBA in general, without Carter’s impact at the turn of the 21st century after being drafted fifth overall in 1998.
The swingman’s awe-inspiring athleticism and creativity gave the NBA a needed shot in the arm following the breakup of the Bulls dynasty and the second retirement of Michael Jordan.
Carter helped transform the Raptors from an afterthought to the hottest ticket in Toronto, making a generation of Canadian kids fall in love with the game in the process. Just ask any of the numerous Toronto-made products in today’s NBA why they ball.
Carter won the 1999 Rookie of the Year award, received his first of eight consecutive All-Star Games selections in 2000, and made back-to-back All-NBA Teams while propelling the Raptors to new heights and their first playoff series victory in 2001 against the Knicks.
Toronto Raptors great Vince Carter should be a lock for this list.,
Arguably, Carter reached his peak in Toronto, averaging 23.4 points, 5.2 rebounds, and 3.9 assists in 403 games with the Raptors over six-plus seasons. At the same time, his career had just got started when he was traded to the Nets in 2004.
Carter went on to play a record 22 NBA seasons with eight different teams, leaving a legacy of remarkable longevity. When he played his final game last year in Atlanta, Carter had a handful of Hawks teammates who weren’t even born when he made his NBA debut.
On the NBA’s career leader lists, Carter sits third in games played (1,541), sixth in three-pointers made (2,290), and 19th in points (25,728). He ranks among the top 100 all-time in nearly every stat category. There’s no reason to exclude him from this list whatsoever.