(Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images)
The first time I heard of Vince Carter, I was living in Hope Mills, North Carolina. The North Carolina Tar Heels at the time were at an all-time high because of two players, Vince Carter and Antawn Jamison. I didn’t get to see a lot of games because we didn’t have cable at our house, but I watched the news every night just for the sports highlights. Some of the things I seen Vince and Antawn pull off were straight ridiculous, add the CRAZY energy in the building, it was must see TV. Every time UNC would play, I would check out the highlights because you knew it was crazy, this was also seeing my real dose of college basketball in the States. That’s what made me fall in love with the Tar Heels. I will always Remember this game, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMSc_zaKCPk.
Antawn Jamison was a better prospect than Vince Carter, so when I followed the draft and saw that the Raptors drafted him; I thought they did the right thing. I didn’t expect them to trade him for Vince Carter, at least from my perspective, but I knew they were getting a highlight machine because I saw the craziness while living in NC.
Fast forward to the season, and seeing Vince Carter pull off some crazy stuff in Toronto, made me feel like I needed to pack my bags and move back to Ontario. There’s was nothing really to be excited about living in Hope Mills, it was a small town, and if you’re not into high school football or high school basketball then you would have to follow the Hornets or minor league hockey. My jealousy levels were high, seeing lights of the city I moved from brighter than its ever been, and basketball related, it felt like a once in a lifetime experience. The only time I could remember this type of excitement was when the Blue Jays won back to back World Series, it was huge.
Living in Richmond Hill, Ontario before moving to the states, there was always interest in basketball there, parks were always full, me and my brothers would be out from dawn till dusk playing, but to see what Vince Carter was doing, was simply unheard of north of the border. I still remember doing surveys and polls in school picking which Toronto basketball team logo I liked, I preferred the Dragons (lol), then seeing the Raptors go on to win like 15 games out of 82 games, there was really nothing to be excited about other than having an NBA team in Toronto. Once Vince Carter came, NBA basketball in Toronto had an energy only the Maple Leafs and Blue Jays had consistently, it also flashed a huge spot light on Toronto. Now looking back at that success, we might have some of the best up and coming talents getting ready to be discovered in the Greater Toronto Area thanks to Vince Carter creating dreams.
Here’s how Toronto basketball was put on the map, and it officially goes down as my favourite Toronto Raptors moment:
Vince Carter: Slam Dunk Contest 2000 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ImAMVqA6mug
**The next few posts are from my SpaceTheFloor site, I’m getting rid of that and using this page for my writing. Everything is being branched into ThaLiveKing.com.