Vince Carter and His Departure from the Raptors

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Felix Hillhouse, Writer

Vince Carter is now known as a Raptors legend and one of the best there ever was at Toronto, but it wasn’t always this way. When Vince Carter was on the Raptors all the way back in 2005 he was their best player, but he was not happy in Toronto he wanted out. Now, this doesn’t seem like anything crazy but back then when star players usually stayed in one city for their entire career it did seem crazy. And for Carter, this was the same as most never saw his trade request coming. If Carter had just requested a trade and kept playing at 100%, he probably would’ve gotten backlash still as some fans would be upset he wanted out but he wouldn’t get nearly as much backlash as he did for the actions he ended up taking.

The city of Toronto had done a lot for Carter,the least you’d expect is a graceful leave. Toronto gave Carter the keys to their team, the keys to their entire franchise, him being prioritized over one of their other young stars Tracy Mcgrady and let him do his thing. To Carter’s credit he did bring the Raptors to the playoffs and gave Raptors fans something to be excited about. The problem was when Carter requested the trade he did so forcefully. Carter did not play at 100% for the city of Toronto to force them to trade him. It was evident in watching him and it was evident in his stats. RIghtfully so Raptors fans were outraged by the way Carter exited. He did not seem to have his usual interest in playing for the Raptors and very clearly wanted out.  Carter even admitted he wasn’t trying on Toronto, which should be a situation a professional athlete should never attempt. This made Carter’s value plummet so when he eventually was traded, the Raptors got nothing close to the worth of Carter and even got an Alonzo Mourning, who refused to play with the Raptors and only wanted to play with the Heat. Carter then could be seen easily as trying again with the Nets. His stats on the New Jersey Nets skyrocketed and he was seen as a franchise piece again. Reportedly there was a trade offered to the Raptors by the Mavericks of Steve Nash and Dirk Nowitzki for Vince Carter and Antonio Davis. In hindsight this trade looks like a steal. Former Raptors GM Glen Grunwald ended up declining the trade though leading to the Raptors trading Vince Carter later for little value.

For the rest of his career Carter hasn’t gotten back on the Raptors as he has bounced around a bunch of times and is now at the end of his career. In New Jersey Carter never was able to push the Nets over the hump into the finals despite the Nets already having stars Jason Kidd and Richard Jefferson. He went to Orlando where he was supposed to be their missing piece but Carter was not and was later traded  to the Suns where he was only a shell of his former superstar self. He then went to the Dallas Mavericks where they mostly just made him a spot up shooter. Therefore his career average was the lowest in his career to that point. This started the beginning of the end of Carter’s career as he was never that great again. He had his moments but he was never himself again. He ended up bouncing around teams ending with the Hawks. This is where he played his last season being the only player to play in the NBA for three separate decades.  Raptors fans for a while were mad at Carter and how he departed stating he was never a leader and mad that he left because of one season where the team’s record floundered. Carter was also angry at management and people thought he didn’t deserve to get all this attention as he was a bad/selfish star. Recently though, Raptors fans remember Vinsanity fondly and some even wanted him to come back for his last season for a great ending. His jersey looks to be retired by the Raptors as he was their first real star.