Vince Carter is one of the most exciting players to watch in NBA history, his best years coming from his time donning the purple, black and red uniform of the Toronto Raptors between the years of 1998 and 2004. Carter finished his Raptors career with averages of 23.4 points and 5.1 rebounds a game, going down as arguably the best player in franchise history.
Carter’s impact on Canadian basketball was so profound in fact, that an UNINTERRUPTED documentary entitled ‘The Carter Effect‘, and is now being shown at Toronto’s annual film festival.
Raptors president Masai Ujiri attended the premiere on Saturday, and during a Q&A alongside the film’s producers, had this to say about Carter and Toronto, via Sportsnet’s Michael Grange:
“Vince Carter will be home in Toronto.”
It’s quite obvious Ujiri was being vague on purpose, as that statement opens the door to a host of possibilities between the Toronto Raptors and Carter.
Vince signed a one-year deal worth $8 million with the Kings this past July to the surprise of many, as fans everywhere speculated Carter could be headed to Golden State to contend for a title with the Warriors. Fans also speculated that Carter could be headed back to Toronto, an idea that pops up every time Vince is a free agent, and something that would be nice to see considering Carter’s age.
Turning 41 in January, time is definitely running out for a potential Raptors-Carter reunion, even with Ujiri’s comments.
However, it’s quite possible that Ujiri was actually referring to the Raptors organization retiring Carter’s number sometime in the near future. Despite the circumstances and terms Carter left Toronto on back in 2004, there is no doubt about the impact ‘Air Canada’ has had on Canadian basketball as a whole.
If you look past the trade that sent Carter to New Jersey, and the lack of team success the Raptors had with Vince leading the squad, his impact on the next generation of Canadian players is undeniable. Toronto-born players such as Tristan Thompson, Cory Joseph, and Andrew Wiggins have all outlined Carter as a main point of inspiration during their youth.
If the Raptors were to retire Carter’s No. 15, it would be the first jersey retirement in the franchise’s 22-year history, and nothing could be more fitting.