01-23-2014, 01:36 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Toronto Raptors will inevitably honour Vince Carter after his retirement despite acri
will inevitably honour Vince Carter
after his retirement despite acrimonious split
Thank goodness Vince Carter had the sense to sign a multi-year deal late in his career with a team in the Western Conference. That ensures we will only have to go through this conversation once a year as Carter winds down his playing days.
Should the Raptors retire Carter’s No. 15? Should they at least hang a banner to honour him, as the Maple Leafs have done with several players? This conversation will happen every year until Carter decides he is done with playing.
“You guys are retiring me before I’m ready to retire,” Carter said Wednesday morning. His Mavericks make their only appearance in Toronto on Wednesday night. “No, I’m not ready for that, yet.”
That is fine with the Raptors, certainly. The conversation will not start until Carter retires. He will enter free agency after completing this season, his 16th in the NBA. There will be noise about the Raptors bringing him back as a veteran wing to complement DeMar DeRozan and Terrence Ross, which will make some sense since he would come cheaply. Of course, he would bring a lot of other baggage with him, too.
Let the debate end, though: After Carter’s career is done, the Raptors will honour him in some way. You can argue the degree to which he will be acknowledged, but it is going to happen. With almost the entirety of the Raptors organization having changed since Carter’s departure — minority owner Larry Tanenbaum is the only key figure that remains — and Toronto producing several NBA players who grew up during Carter’s tenure in Toronto, there is little reason not to honour him.
Except for his acrimonious exit from Toronto. Approaching the 10-year anniversary of the trade that sent him from the Raptors to the Nets, so many details are unknown. All we know for sure: at some point, Carter asked out of Toronto; Carter did not give a full effort in his final days in a Raptors uniform; Rob Babcock made an awful trade; and Carter said some silly things upon leaving.
It is clear, though, that Carter is thinking about his legacy as he approaches his 37th birthday, on Sunday.
“It was just a thing that happened,” Carter said of his breakup with the Raptors on Wednesday. “Some people feel like it was my fault. Some people feel like it was the organization.
“I hate that it happened for numerous … reasons. The franchise was on the rise there. At the same time they were trying to go in a different direction, I think. … As we’ve moved forward, a lot of things have come out and we kind of see what’s going on. It was just an ugly situation that happened that you can’t change now. As you move forward, you try to change it and try to make it right. … I don’t really like to quote the Bible and stuff because some people don’t believe in it — you’re taught to forgive and move on. It’s been a long time. Everybody’s grown up. Everybody’s moving forward. The organization has changed here. I’ve gotten older and moved on. It’s just like, hey, let’s remember what was important at the time: winning basketball and really striking the mood here and understanding that this a fun place to be, a fun place to play. A lot of people didn’t know it. Once the boom happened, meaning that wonderful night in February [the 2000 slam dunk contest], the recognition began. I think everywhere, it runs its course; time runs its course.”
Naturally, the only reason we are discussing this is because the Raptors have won precisely as many playoff series as the Bakersfield Jam since Carter skipped town. There is zero standard for honouring a player for this franchise, as this franchise has had what amounts to zero success.
Carter is the greatest individual talent to ever play for the Raptors, and, along with Chris Bosh, is the most productive player overall. However, he left the Raptors very much because he was concerned with his own timeframe. The Raptors can afford to consider their own timeframe before deciding to fete Carter. That it will happen, however, is inevitable.