Toronto Raptors

Looking Back At Vince and I

Looking Back At Vince and INow that it's happened, I thought I'd delve into the vault and reexamine the entries I wrote about Vince Carter. They say a great deal about my conflicted feelings about him and what he brings brought to my Toronto Raptors. Lets take a look, shall we? Fittingly, there are fifteen.

  1. The EA Sports Jinx - October 2, 2003 / 12:53 EST: I'm concerned that Carter is on the cover of EA's NBA Live 2004. There is that jinx and I want Carter to stay healthy.
  2. Mike's Mailbag - October 29, 2003 / 15:03 EST: I inaccurately predict the Raptors will make the playoffs in 2003/2004. I add a caveat that Carter must remain healthy for this to happen.
  3. Vintage Vincent - November 27, 2003 / 08:04 EST: I'm gushing over the great Vince Carter after he scores 43 and carries the Raps on his back. I also reminisce about the 51 point game of his I attended.
  4. Not In-Vince-able - January 17, 2004 / 14:00 EST: Carter injures himself once again and I brace for the worst. I even compare him to Wendel Clark.
  5. Mr. Popular - January 30, 2003 / 11:09 EST: Carter leads the league in all-star votes for the fourth time and I try to figure out why he's so damn popular.
  6. Guest Blog Entry - January 30, 2004 / 15:45 EST: For the first time, I publicly admit in this space that Vince could be traded. I also admit that he's not the second coming of Michael Jordon. "If you had brought up the subject of trading Vince Carter a couple of years ago, I would have laughed in your face."
  7. It. Is. Over. - March 27, 2004 / 11:04 EST: I was pissed when I wrote this entry. The Raptors were going to miss the playoffs yet again and I knew something had to give.
  8. Vin-sane - July 2, 2004 / 09:04 EST: ESPN reports that Carter wants to be traded and I try to digest the news. "Vince is our star and it will hurt to watch him suit up for another team."
  9. The End of an Era? - July 14, 2004 / 10:55 EST: Rumours were swirling that Carter was on his way out and I thought we were in the final hours of the Vince Carter era in Toronto. "The writing's on the wall and we have to accept it."
  10. Carlos and Vince - July 16, 2004 / 21:37 EST: I found it interesting that it was becoming incredibly likely that both Carlos Delgado and Vince Carter would be leaving Toronto. Still, I held on to a semblance of hope that Carter could stay. "It's entirely possible we're cheering Carter's name on opening night as he stays with the Raps. I'm hoping he does because players with his talent are few and far between."
  11. Guest Blog Entry - July 20, 2004 / 14:48 EST: I admit I'm completely torn about the whole Vince Carter saga. "I'd like him to stay, play hard and lead us back to the playoffs where he can shine on a bigger stage."
  12. My Sports Wishlist - September 22, 2004 / 08:23 EST: Carter makes my sports wishlist as I wish he'd stop being such a suck, rescind his trade demand and play his ass off.
  13. 41 Reasons to Kick Ass - November 3, 2004 / 13:11 EST: The Sporting News ranks Carter the 41st best player in the NBA and I see this as a positive, potentially lighting a much needed fire under Carter's butt. "This gives Carter 41 reasons to kick ass this season."
  14. More Than 41 - November 23, 2004 / 07:56 EST: It didn't take long to realize that Vince Carter wasn't going to perform for the Raptors the way Vince Carter can. "When we finally do trade this major disappointment, we'll likely get little of value in return. Then, without a doubt, Carter will kick it up a notch and shoot the lights out for his new team."
  15. The Vince Carter Era Ends - December 17, 2004 / 17:36 EST: Vince Carter is traded to the New Jersey Nets. "It's time to move on my friends."

That last line of #14 says it all. I have no doubt that Carter will be awesome for the Nets. He lost all motivation here in Toronto and put it in auto pilot a long, long time ago. It's a damn shame because he had so much upside and could have been the man to lead us to the championship. Could have been, should have been, would have been...

Farewell #15. Thanks for the memories. 51 against the Suns, baby.

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The Vince Carter Era Ends

Vince Carter Era EndsI'm flooded with mixed emotions now that it's finally happened. The Toronto Raptors have traded Vince Carter to the New Jersey Nets in exchange for center Alonzo Mourning, forward Eric Williams, center/forward Aaron Williams and two conditional first-round draft picks.

It wasn't that long ago that Carter owned this city. He was the rookie of the year, the slam dunk king and the next Michael Jordon. He had us within a 3-point shot of the Eastern Finals and the best was yet to come. He was Air Canada and the best show in town.

I'll never forget the day I spent at the ACC watching him pour in 51. The Raptor victory was broadcast nationally in the USA and the 51 was and still is a Raptor record. There wasn't a basketball fan in this city who didn't think Carter was awesome and only going to get better.

As quickly as he rose to prominence in the big smoke, he plummetted back to the soil at Bay and York. Frequently injured, no longer as consistent and one hell of a whiner, almost everybody wanted him out of town. Personally, I swung up and down on this issue like a yo-yo, wishing he'd stay and return to his form of old one day and wishing we'd trade him and build for the future the next. This season, the writing was on the wall and I knew it was only a matter of time. Now that it's happened, I'm sad to see our perrenial all-star go but I realize it's for the best.

It's time to move on my friends. We have our closure, let the healing begin.

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More Than 41

More Than 41Apparently, Vince Carter needs more than 41 reasons to kick ass this season. A player who is averaging 24.1 points for his career is only averaging 14.5 points per game thus far this year. Carter scored just four points on 2-for-9 shooting and didn't play in the fourth quarter while his team mates overcame a 20-point deficit in the second half to beat the San Antonio Spurs 96-91 Sunday. He's not contributing and others are picking up the slack.

Now comes word the "Half-man, half-amazing" doesn't want to dunk anymore. He'll leave the dunking to others and opt for a lay up instead. He's as whiny about the pressue to dunk as he is about the league's decision to strip him of his iPod during warmups. It's been a tough week for the $12 million man.

I've been rather vocal in my support of Vince Carter. I want him to play like he can and be a super star once more for my Raptors. Sadly, it's becoming abundantly clear that he's doing everything in his power to reduce his trade value. He's averaging 14.5 ppg, refusing to dunk and sitting for most fourth quarters. When we finally do trade this major disappointment, we'll likely get little of value in return. Then, without a doubt, Carter will kick it up a notch and shoot the lights out for his new team. I'll bet he even dunks for them.

What a shame.

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Three For Three

Three For ThreeI just finished watching the Raptors game. I watched the whole thing, in fact, I've seen all three games this season except for a bit of Friday's game when I was watching the Argos.

I'm extremely impressed thus far. All three games have been extremely entertaining victories for the Raps. I don't remember three games as exciting as these three all of last season.

It's early, but if we keep this intensity up and Vince keeps doin' what he's doin' with this awesome support, we'll be back in the playoffs for sure.

With the first 3-0 start in franchise history, the Raptors are helping to ease the pain of the NHL lockout. Bless those boys.

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41 Reasons to Kick Ass

41 Reasons to Kick AssThe Sporting News recently released its subjective list of the top 50 players in the NBA, and Vince Carter ranked a disappointing 41st. As a Raptor fan, this pleases me. This gives Carter 41 reasons to kick ass this season.

Things can only get better this season, which tips off tonight against the Houston Rockets at the ACC. Now that Carter has something to prove, I suspect he'll put forward a more consistent effort. We need him and I'm glad he's back with a slice of humble pie. With Chris Bosh emerging as an excellent supporting player, and Donyell Marshall and Jalen Rose back, I think we'll put up the points and finish 8th in the East. In the NBA, eight is enough.

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Allen-for-Carter?

Allen-for-Carter?Now that Vince Carter has essentially come clean with his desire to play elsewhere, it's looking more and more likely that the Raptors will trade him. As I've said before, I'd rather see #15 in the line up for the Raptors season opener, but if he's got to go there's an interesting possibility emerging.

Ray Allen of the Seattle Sonics is reportedly interested in playing for the Toronto Raptors. He's making similar money to Carter, so that takes care of the salary cap issues. He also plays a similar game. As Doug Smith writes in today's Toronto Star, "He has the type of up-tempo game that would fit perfectly with the style new coach Sam Mitchell wants the Raptors to play and he could share the court with Jalen Rose and Rafer Alston in a high-powered backcourt".

My biggest fear is we'll trade Vince Carter for a bunch of B-list players. Ray Allen is at least a star. This would make the pain a little more bearable methinks.

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Carlos and Vince

Carlos and VinceHere in the capital of the world (Toronto, in case you didn't know), all the sports talk has been about the "imminent" trade of our two biggest stars. If you excuse Mats, Ed and the gang on skates, Toronto's biggest sports stars are Carlos Delgado and Vince Carter.

Already this month I've written two entries essentially saying goodbye to Vince. The rumour mill was working overtime and it looked like he was on his way to Dallas. Now, nobody is sure of anything. It's entirely possible we're cheering Carter's name on opening night as he stays with the Raps. I'm hoping he does because players with his talent are few and far between.

Then, there's Carlos Delgado of my Toronto Blue Jays. Unlike Vince, there's no rumblings about how Carlos would like a trade and isn't happy. The problem here is strict economics. Delgado makes about 40% of the Blue Jays payroll and with our current budget we'll likely never compete with the Yankees and Red Sox of the world. Trading Carlos will free up some cash for some badly needed starting pitching. Still, I don't want him to go either as he's a fantastic ball player.

Here's my proposal to Rob Babcock and J.P. Ricciardi. Lets keep superstars like Vince Carter and Carlos Delgado in Toronto. Both have a number of good years ahead of them and both are assets to their respective clubs. Why would we want to see them play anywhere else? Keep 'em and sign Delgado again when his contract expires at the end of the season.

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The End of an Era?

The End of an Era?Is the Vince Carter era in Toronto coming to an end? The Raptors, Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks are involved in serious discussions on a three-way trade that would see Carter end up with the Mavericks, Antoine Walker move from Dallas to New York and at least two players go from the Knicks to the Raptors, according to a league source.

Earlier this month I shared my thoughts on the imminent trading of our one and only star player. The writing's on the wall and we have to accept it. Unfortunately, we won't get anything in return worth of Carter's up-side, but we haven't made the playoffs the past two seasons and it doesn't get much worse than that.

Stay tuned because I think we're in the final hours of the Vince Carter era in Toronto.

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Vin-sane

Vin-saneESPN is reporting that Vince Carter wants out of Toronto.

I suppose we all saw this coming. Vince has been complaining about everything in Raptorland for quite some time now. According to a league source, Carter is not happy with the hiring of Rob Babcock as the Raptors' new general manager nor with the selection of Rafael Arajuo with in last week's NBA draft. Now, Carter has asked for a trade and has even presented several different trade proposals to the Raptors.

We'll probably comply with his wishes because nothing is worse than a star who doesn't want to be there. This is why Antonio Davis had to go. We'll never be able to get equal value back, but in the end this might be for the best. Still, Vince is our star and it will hurt to watch him suit up for another team. This is Vin-sane.

Looking back at the Vince Carter era in Toronto, I'm proud to say I was there for his finest moment. His 51 points against the Suns in a come from behind victory remains a Raptors record and I was at the ACC to see it all unfold. It was awesome, Vince was awesome and like everything else, it too must end.

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T-Mac

T-MacT-Mac isn't happy and has been begging for a trade from the Orlando Magic. Executives from several NBA teams have said Orlando and the Houston Rockets are close to a deal sending McGrady to the Rockets for a package including Steve Francis and Cuttino Mobley. It looks like T-Mac is getting his wish.

What exactly is the deal with T-Mac? He was drafted out of high school by my Raptors where he played his first three professional seasons. During his final year hear, we saw him emerge into a potential superstar. Vince Carter and T-Mac were an awesome 1-2 punch but T-Mac wasn't happy. He wanted to be the star and he jumped to the Magic upon becoming a free agent. I remember fellow Raptor fans pleading with T-Mac to stay in Toronto and resign with the Raptors. I remember how he teased us by insinuating he might stay when he had already made up his mind he was returning to his Florida home.

After four years with the Magic T-Mac wants out again and there's no doubt he'll be wearing another uniform come the fall. He's an awesome talent, but never happy. I'm sure in another few years I'll be writing about how T-Mac wants a trade from the Rockets.

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