The upcoming 2019-20 season will be a historic one for Vince Carter.
By signing a one-year deal to return to the Atlanta Hawks, the 42-year-old will become to first person to ever play in 22 NBA seasons. Additionally, he’ll be the first to hit the hardwood in four different decades.
Carter recently reflected on his time in the league with Jacob Feldman of Sports Illustrated. While their interview covered a wide range of topics — including his budding broadcast career — it was his talk about recruiting attempts while with the Toronto Raptors that caught the attention of readers.
Top NBA talent didn’t try to convince others to play with them back in the 2000’s like they do now; however, Carter did his best to talk Shaquille O’Neal into venturing north.
While Carter didn’t reveal precisely when these discussions took place, it can be assumed they occurred later in his Toronto tenure, one that began in 1998 and ended when he was traded to the New Jersey Nets in December 2004.
During the summer before Carter’s departure, O’Neal requested to be traded from the Los Angeles Lakers when — according to Tim Brown on the Los Angeles Times — “he came to believe the organization preferred Kobe Bryant to him and Phil Jackson.”
Later that summer, O’Neal was dealt to the Miami Heat in 2006, teaming up with Dwyane Wade to win the fourth NBA championship of his career. Yet, it makes you wonder what could have been if Shaq would have teamed up with Vinsanity for a few seasons at the Air Canada Centre.
At the very least, we know O’Neal would have absolutely nailed it every time he sung the Canadian national anthem.
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