Vince Carter will always have a special place in his heart for the Raptors and the city of Toronto. After the Raptors defeated the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals last year, it was his right to be apart of the celebration as well.
“I remember about a minute or so left in the game, I turned to Tracy (McGrady), he turned to me and we were like ‘I can’t believe this is about to happen’.
“I was there. So, it was just crazy”, said Carter in regards to the Raptors’ championship parade. “I thought of being drafted there coming in. Being apart of the first playoff team. Being apart of the first playoff win. Being apart of the first playoff series”.
Twenty-two years ago, the Raptors traded Antwan Jamison, who was their 4th pick in the 1998 NBA draft, to the Warriors for Carter, who was drafted one pick later. Carter led Toronto to their first playoff series win in 2001 but came up short in a Game 7 effort to the eventual Eastern Conference champions, the Philadelphia 76ers, in the semifinal round. Carter helped lay the foundation for a team that was only in its third year of existence and the rest was history.
Carter also spoke about the lessons he’s learned and how it can impact current teammate and rising star Trae Young early in his career.
“I wouldn’t change a thing because I think going through it all still has me here today”, says Carter. “Now I can kind of share life lessons and a guy like Trae, who’s now in the limelight, a superstar who goes through a lot of things and a lot of challenges and a lot of things on his shoulders, I can speak first hand on it. You know, I’ve been there”.