Are the Toronto Raptors Going to Honor Vince Carter?
In case you weren't sure how Toronto Raptors fans felt about Vince Carter, the above video should serve as a reminder. Which makes this news a tad surprising:
But that opportunity might come Nov. 22 at Air Canada Centre when the player who demanded out of Toronto after six-plus seasons will be ... honored by the franchise as part of their 15th anniversary celebration.
The Raptors say they will first ask Carter if he wants to go through with a ceremony, realizing the back-story.
"Everybody wants to know how we can do it, but Vince is part of the history here," Raptors General Manager Bryan Colangelo told the Sentinel. "Most of the people that he had problems with here are gone."
But it's the fans who have booed Carter each time he has returned since the Raptors dealt him to the New Jersey Nets in 2004.
I get that in their young history, Carter, like it or not, is the team's marquee star. But the man still plays for an opposing team and a growing rival with Toronto.
Last season, when the Detroit Pistons traded Chauncey Billups, a respected member of the franchise who helped them win a title, they immediately gave away his number. Minnesota planned no formal ceremony to honor Kevin Garnett, who was a warrior for that franchise.
Teams love the marketing side, so I'm sure Toronto is using the 15th anniversary thing to try and keep fans excited all year. But honoring Carter will do nothing but foster bad feelings.
There's a time for a reconciliation, but that will come several years after Carter has retired.