Tonight, our Toronto Raptors host the NBA Championship game. If the Raps win tonight, their season is a complete success and Raptor fans will enjoy a great summer. It all comes down to this.
Vince Carter and I have had quite the tumultuous relationship that is well documented. To say I'm angry with him is the understatement of the season. Carter went through the motions here, forced us to deal his sorry ass for little in return and then started playing to his potential in New Jersey. Since being dealt, he's scored 30 or more points 21 times, 20 or more 45 times (in 53 games) and earned Player of the Week honors last week after averaging 34.7 points as the Nets went 3-0 to stay alive in the playoff race. It's enough to make you want to scowl.
I take it personally. Tonight, with the Nets in town, I'll be watching. This is our NBA Championship. A win tonight and all the other crap Raptor fans have had to deal with will be forgiven. Go Raps! Beat Vince!
Morris Peterson has successfully punched the clock for 258 games in succession making him the reigning iron man in the NBA. He earned the distinction when Washington Wizards forward Antawn Jamison missed Tuesday night's game at New York due to right knee tendinitis.
Sure, there were nights when we didn't notice Mo Pete, but he was there. There were nights when his butt was glued to the bench, but Mo Pete made the score card. When it's game time, Mo Pete might not be on, he might not even appear to care, but he shows up each and every time.
Peterson has a long way to go to break the all-time record of 1,192 consecutive games set by A.C. Green, whose streak stretched from 1986 to 2001. Cross your fingers!
Vince Carter scored just 22 last night and shot a miserable 8 for 25 from the floor. He committed a foul on Donyell Marshall in the fourth quarter that led to two key free throws and turned the ball over a minute later that led to a game-sealing fast-break layup for Milt Palacio. The final result was an overwhelming 100-82 victory for the Toronto Raptors over Carter's New Jersey Nets.
Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy Happy Happy Joy Joy
Happy Happy Joy Joy Joy!
Remember Vince Carter? He used to play for our Toronto Raptors. In fact, he was rookie of the year and a perennial all-star while playing in these parts.
Tonight, our Raptors are in the swamp to seek revenge. I don't care if the Raptors ever win another game so long as they win tonight. #15 quit on us and started lighting it up the moment he was out of here. Lets humiliate the bastard.
If I told you I don't follow the soaps I'd be lying. You see, I follow the Toronto Raptors, the best soap opera ever.
Win or lose, the Raptors are always entertaining. It seems like it's always been this way. There was Charles Oakley, the Butch Carter saga, Antonio Davis' trade demand, years of Vinsanity culminating in this summers trade demand and recent departure for New Jersey and now it's Rafer Alston's turn to step into the spotlight.
In Cleveland last night, Alston and Sam Mitchell got into a halftime confrontation which resulted in Alston being ushered out of Gund Arena by a phalanx of security guards. At least one security guard claims fists were flying between Alston and Mitchell who have a strained relationship to say the least.
Is Alston on his way out of town? What will Mr. Quote Jalen Rose have to say about it? 3.5 games out of a playoff spot, can the Raps make a run and sneak in? 1.5 points behind Vince's Nets, can we beat the cheat? Don't miss the best soap in town.
Lenny Wilkens is likely to resign this week as head coach of the New York Knicks. The Knicks have lost nine of their last ten games to drop to third place in our awful Atlantic Division.
I hated Wilkens when he was coaching the Raptors. I was shocked when the Knicks hired him a year ago and wrote this entry in which I openly laughed at Knicks fans. I was 100% certain that this hiring was a huge mistake and I couldn't wait until he was run out of town.
In every sport there is a home field advantage, but nowhere is it greater than in the NBA. In the NBA, it's not unusual for a team to dominate at home and stink on the road. Take my Toronto Raptors, for instance.
Yesterday the Raptors trailed the New Orleans Hornets by as much as 16 points in the third quarter, but came back to win 102-99. It was their ninth win in their past ten games at the ACC. At home, the Raptors are a sweet 13-5. On the road, it's a different story all together. We've lost 11 straight and are a dismal 2-18.
If the Raps manage to win even 30% of their road games they'll win the Atlantic division. All I care is that they beat New Jersey.
Since being traded by my Toronto Raptors to the New Jersey Nets, Vince Carter is averaging 22.5 points per game. He's playing hard, taking it to the hoop and putting up points. Those are three things he didn't do before the trade.
TNT broadcast an interview with Carter yesterday in which he was asked if he pushed himself as hard as he should have in Toronto. Below was his response.
"In years past, no. I was fortunate to have the talent ... you get spoiled when you're able to do a lot of things. You see that you don't have to work at it. Now, with the all the injuries, I have to work harder. I'm a little hungrier. Getting a fresh start has made me want to attack the basket."
What an ass. He's essentially admitting he didn't try his best with Toronto. This explains why he looks like a different player in New Jersey. I used to defend Vince Carter when others wanted to get rid of him. Now, I wish him nothing but the worst. F him.
Now 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- 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."
- 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."
- 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."
- 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."
- 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.
- 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."
- 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."
- 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.
I'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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