Vince Carter, Canada's representative for basketball. Even though he's currently a New Jersey Net, his most memorable moments will always reside with the Raptors. Vince was a normal kid during his childhood, but loved basketball a lot and idolized Julius Erving for his amazing athletic abilities. In his high school years, he was already making noise for his inredible hops, literally stalling games because of how amazing his dunks were. Vince also loved being in the marching band, mainly playing the drums because of his love for being in charge and control. Later on in his early basketball career, Vince worked on his other aspects of his game, like setting up teammates, working on his D, and shooting. In his rookie year in Toronto, he had the priviledge of working with several key veterans, such as Doug Christie, Charlies Oakley, and Kevin Willis, who taught him many things, and was also able to play alongside cousin Tracy McGrady.
During the 2000 Slam Dunk Competition, Vince Carter put on an unforgettable performance by coming up huge in all of his dunks, most notably, his through the legs dunk set up by Tracy McGrady. He easily won it, and instantly became the most popular athlete in Canada. A year later, Vince wanted to do more than just dunking, and led the Toronto Raptors to the playoffs without Tracy McGrady, who left because he wanted to be equally recognized like his cousin. The Raptors faced off against the veteran New York Knicks, who knocked them out in the first round the previous season. The series however, was for the Raptors to take. Then, in the next round, the Philadelphia 76ers, led by Season MVP Allen Iverson, displayed one of the most memorable playoff series to date. It was a true battle of the stars. The series would be decided by a basket, and no one other than Vince Carter was worthy of taking it. He missed it, and that ended the great Toronto Raptors era. Vince Carter is currently on the New Jersey Nets, making an impact with the team, fortifying themselves as the elite team in the Atlantic division.
While many Toronto Raptors fans hate Vince Carter for bailing out on the team, no one can forget the amount of effort he has put into the franchise, along with the impact of progress in basketball within the country. Toronto has become one of the basketball icons in the world with Toronto players competing in international tournaments and gaining massive recognition from not only the NCAA, but the NBA as well. Canada will always be known as a Hockey country, but basketball has become a major sport thanks to Vince Carter. He's a great player that has progressed seemingly well throughout his career. He was solely recognized for his dunking abilities, but developed a nice jumper. He even put on a show in front of Toronto by hitting 9 three pointers in an offensive outburst. However, he hasn't let his dunking abilities go to waste, as he's posted up some of the most memorable dunks in NBA and basketball history, such as jumping literally over the top of French and former NBA center Frederic Weis, who was marked at 7'2. And despite his injury, some of his best dunks came as a Net, particularly his amazing posterization on Alonzo Mourning.
Since coming to New Jersey, Vince Carter has had better shot selection, leading the team in points per game, and that's saying something when you have a young star in Richard Jefferson, and a veteran point guard, along with being considered as one of the best point guards in NBA history, in Jason Kidd. While they were sweeped in the 04-05 playoffs in the first round against powerhouse team the Miami Heat, thanks to Vince Carter, the New Jersey Nets were surging themselves into the playoffs, and edged out the Cleveland Cavaliers for the eight and final spot, who were being led by rising superstar Lebron James. His rejuvinated game was the biggest factor in this. Vince Carter is a Net, but when the name comes up, there's nothing else you can picture but him in a Toronto Raptors uniform, fascialing yet another player. While many Raptors fans wouldn't want him back, I would gladly welcome him back with arms wide open, even if he was just another veteran player past his prime, seeking a ring before his retirement.