Great Playoff Moments, Day 3: Vince Carter Didn’t “Always Try”, So Toronto Says “VC Sucks”
That was the pinnacle, the peak of his success. From then on, it was downhill. He soon split his team and organization by requesting time-off during the playoffs to attend his college graduation. And rumours of his mother lurking around Air Canada Centre like Joe Simpson or Lynn Spears became legendary …
“It’s over. It’s over,” screamed Kenny Smith as Vince Carter looked into the television camera and slashed his throat.
It was February of 2000. Carter, the NBA’s newest phenomenon, had just won the Slam Dunk contest by dunking his entire forearm. And Toronto, thanks to the athletic swing, was back on the NBA map. At that moment, Carter could’ve run for mayor of the T-dot or prime minister of Canada. And he’d have won.
That was the pinnacle, the peak of his success. From then on, it was downhill. He soon split his team and organization by requesting time-off during the playoffs to attend his college graduation. And rumours of his mother lurking around Air Canada Centre like Joe Simpson or Lynn Spears became legendary.
Toronto, however, missed the warning signs. After all, the city was in love. Unlike Isiah Thomas, Damon Stoudamire, and Tracy McGrady, Carter had committed long-term to the Raptors by signing a ‘max’ contract. For years, he’d be the face of Toronto, a human symbol of the big smoke like Skydome or the CN Tower.
Well, not exactly. In the fall of 2005, Carter requested a trade. His reasons for wanting out were never clear, but his lack of urgency on-court was clearer than a teenager’s face post Pro Active. Before Christmas, Toronto wrapped Carter in a bow and gave him to New Jersey.
The Raptors quickly became the league laughingstock, while Carter quickly found his way in the swamps of Jersey. Then came the revelation that he didn’t always try with Toronto.
“In years past, no,” said Carter, acquired by the New Jersey Nets on Dec 17. “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.” (ESPN)
The Raptors struggled. In 2006, new saviour Bryan Colangelo arrived. The spiffy GM imported his ‘Euros’ and, with Chris Bosh leading, Toronto qualified for the 2007 playoffs.
Of course, they’d meet Carter and New Jersey first round. During Toronto’s home games, fans chanted, “VC sucks” like a pack of drunken soccer hooligans. Fair or not, the Nets easily handled the Raptors in five games. Still, those chants were something.
Clip 1: Pre-game …
Clip 2: During the game ….
Clip 3: Even after a game one loss? …
Clip 4: A television station drops a top ten …
Clip 5: But then he did go after the new prodigal son …
What do you think of these clips. Is Toronto guilty of hate? Get at us in the comment box below with your thoughts. And come back to HoopsVibe.com every day during the post-season for great playoff moments. Image courtesy of Bang em smurf.
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