Saturday November 21 2009 – 6:44pm Eastern – Toronto, ON

Word out of the Raptors is that Magic guard Vince Carter has “respectfully declined any in-game recognition” during tomorrow’s tilt between Toronto and Orlando at the ACC.

The Raptors are celebrating their 15th anniversary this season and in doing so … they plan to “honour” former players and coaches throughout the year – when they come to town with their current clubs, etc.

The organization has already held similar “ceremonies” (a video on the big scoreboard, the player (or coach) being introduced to the crowd;  they wave … have their moment in the spotlight … and the game moves on) for Charles Oakley and Alvin Williams and they apparently plan to also showcase guys like Morris Peterson, Matt Bonner, Jerome Williams, and Muggsy Bogues (and more) at future games as well.

The Raptors were prepared to do the same for Carter – knowing that the reaction/reception he’d get from the ACC faithful may not be pretty!  Thus, they left it up to VC himself to decide if he wanted to take part in any kind of festivities.

He declined.

And I can’t say I blame him.  Carter was in a no-win situation.  If he agreed to some sort of honouring, he would have (likely) been booed mercilessly — like it always is in his returns to Toronto — and, thus, there’d be no real point to subjecting himself to that.  For what?

But now that he has said “no thanks” … I’m sure a ton of folks will still label him unfairly and say that he should have taken part.

Like I said, it was a no-win situation for VC.

I’ve been on the record many times in the past – and recently as well – saying this team may not be in Toronto right now if not for Vince Carter and what he did to put this city and organization on the map.  He is still the greatest player – past or present – in franchise history (though Chris Bosh is right on his heels).

I had hoped that the fans of Toronto — even VC’s biggest critics — would have cheered Vince during the ceremony but then gone back to booing him (if they chose to) during the game;  dislike him for what he is now … or what you think he became … but like him and cheer for him for what he did in the past and the impact he had on your team.

But it’s a moot point now.

Knowing the negative reaction he likely would have received … Carter opted to stay out of the spotlight.  Instead, the Raptors are scheduled to honour their first head coach … current Magic assistant, Brendan Malone.

I hope when Carter’s career is over … folks can forgive and forget … and “Air Canada” will have his day in Toronto again.  We might just have to wait for another 15 years to pass for that to happen though!

E. Smith



- Marco Belinelli did not practice (sore left groin)
- Antoine Wright (ankle) and Andrea Bargnani did not practice … both were ill

16 Responses to “VC Declines Honour”
  1. 1.

    Some Raptor “fans” boo not even know why they’re booing anymore. It’s just the thing to do when Vince comes to down.

    This franchise wouldn’t be what it is without Vince Carter and the way he left really sucks but it shows just how sad the team has been since 2004 that we have nothing else to be this passionate about except getting on him 1-2 times per year.

    It’s time to let it go and acknowledge the greatest Raptor of all time and the fact he helped make basketball in Toronto relevant. For every 10 great Raps memory, Vince was involved in 7-8. One of the reasons some people seem to hate so passionately is because they loved him so much.

    - Mark R.
  2. 2.

    I agree with Mark R. Toronto fans loved him so much, which is why it was so sad and hurtful when he wanted out. For as long as his NBA career lasts, that pain will always be manifested as hatred.

    I don’t agree that it’s time to let it go. We can cheer for him after his NBA career is over. Or we can watch VC highlight reels at home when there’s no Raptors game on the schedule. But when VC rolls into town wearing an opposing team’s jersey, it is my duty to make him remember how much he sucks for leaving the T-dot.

    “Let’s go Raptors … VC sucks!”

    - atorreno
  3. 3.

    “Let’s go Raptors … VC sucks!”

    - Raps Fan
  4. 4.

    I am just wondering what Raptor team is going to show up tomorrow? We certainly cannot let Orlando have a big lead and if it comes down to it, VC will make that “game on the line shot” for us to lose.

    by the way- the stat was out about the Raps not doing well the home game after a long road trip, I would be curious to know what our record is on Sunday afternoon games, I cannot remember a favourable outcome in one.

    - Tait Luste
  5. 5.

    I can’t see how any real fan of the raptors could have booed VC in any type of tribute, we wouldn’t have a team to cheer for now if he wasn’t here (see Vancouver) and while he may left on bad terms it doesn’t take away from what he contributed while here, and I disagree that Bosh is on his heels for greatest ever to suit up for Toronto, get us outta the 1st round and then it’s debatable

    - Rapsfan1
  6. 6.

    oh please with the “we wouldn’t have a team” crap with out vince.. people.. we have always had decent attendance in the league, it has nothing to do with VC. he made us cool for the american audience for a while. big deal. we should have drafted paul pierce and then maybe we wouldnt be a soft team who loses in the first round every year. Anyone who defends Vince is full of it. He committed the worst of all crimes against a fan base, and it should not be taken lightly.


    - Ryan Fabro
  7. 7.

    Boo him mercilessly. It’s good to show enmity towards a visiting player, especially one who mailed it in for the home side. It’s harmless and it adds intensity to the game for both teams and the crowd.

    - Will, Oshawa
  8. 8.

    vancouver had great attendance numbers too (not quite 18,000 or so … but still better than a boat-load of teams in the league). they left because there was no ‘star’ talent to build around / market around / buy into. get back to bookin’ the “game plan” fabro!

    - Eric Smith
  9. 9.

    100% Agree with you Fabro!

    - Raps Fan
  10. 10.

    I would have cheered if only because of how good he was while here. Then I would have boo’d b/c he deserted the team and quit. Take the cheers and jeers like a man. And it’s a no-win decision of his his past regressions. He created this monster.

    - Michael Lewicki
  11. 11.

    Despite his prodigious talent, Vince Carter has achieved enormously little in his long NBA career. Take away a silly slam dunk contest, and he’s nothing but another in a long line of wasted NBA talents.

    So much potential. So little accomplished.

    And, when his team, once again, succeeds this season, it will have little to do with his contributions.

    - brento
  12. 12.

    Well said Fabro, well said.

    - Joe
  13. 13.

    “it doesn’t take away from what he contributed while here”

    Patently wrong as clearly, it does. Get it?

    Boo him til he retires…

    - Gary
  14. 14.

    “Despite his prodigious talent, Vince Carter has achieved enormously little in his long NBA career. Take away a silly slam dunk contest, and he’s nothing but another in a long line of wasted NBA talents.

    So much potential. So little accomplished.

    And, when his team, once again, succeeds this season, it will have little to do with his contributions.”

    LOLOL. This coming from a Bosh fan:

    Rookie of the Year

    Slam Dunk Champion

    Olympic Champion (leading scorer)

    career numbers of 25.9/6.9/5.2 playoffs, 23.5/5.5/4.3 regular season

    8-time all-star, lead league in voting several consecutive seasons

    holds or co-holds MANY Raptors, Nets, and league records, including points in a season by a Raptors, and points in a season by a Net

    has won 3 playoff rounds, including 2 WITHOUT homecourt advantage, and has never lost a playoff round with homecourt advantage (I know you’ll say 3 rounds, big whup), but that’s 3 more than Bosh has won. Bosh couldn’t even win a playoff round WITH homecourt advantage. VC helped see to that (2007)

    that’s already more than 99% of all NBA players will ever accomplish. The only thing he hasn’t done is gone deep in the playoffs, which is something he will do this season (PS, he’s leading the Magic in scoring, and the Magic are tied for the best record in the league).

    - Chris
  15. 15.

    “So much potential. So little accomplished.”

    Hmmm….if you say VC has accomplished so little, than what would you say about loser Bosh, who has accomplished literally NOTHING. And don’t give me “Bosh has only been in the league 6 years” garbage either.

    In his first 6 years VC had already won ROTY, Slam Dunk Champion, lead Olympics team in scoring (Bosh couldn’t even make the starting lineup, lol, he was a “role player”), won a playoff round (without home court advantage), and finished top 3 in scoring one season.

    What has Bosh accomplished? I can’t think of ANYTHING other than making the all-star team 4 times. But VC made the all-star team 5 times in his first 6 years.

    Eagerly waiting your response.

    - Chris
  16. 16.

    why are you making this a Vince vs. Bosh debate???

    One thing i am certain Bosh wont do…is get the Raps to sign him to a max deal and then give up on the team the coaches the city a year later! To come out and not give 100%…to not compete at the highest level possible to a team thats paying you millions of dollars and to not play to the best of your abilities and put on a show for thousands of paying fans many of whom cant afford to go to every game …THAT IS UNACCEPTABLE! I was one of those fans back then when he said “I dont feel like dunking anymore” and then he gets traded to Jersey and we as fans have to see him dropping 30 points a night with highlight dunks. that there was a slap in the faces of every fan that came out to see a Raps game in hopes of seeing the best product possible…he bailed on the team and fans that made him a superstar! So for Eric Smith and all the people that say let it go…I say you let it go and let the rest of us vent!

    - Neil
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