Toronto Raptors

Vince Carter Rumors Shows Legacy Continues to Haunt the Toronto Raptors

DENVER - NOVEMBER 17:  Vince Carter #15 of the Toronto Raptors watches the game against the Denver Nuggets at Pepsi Center on November 17, 2004 in Denver, Colorado.  The Nuggets won 112-106.   NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
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James BorbathContributor INovember 9, 2012

Why can’t Toronto Raptors fans get over Vince Carter and move on? It just seems that Vince and the Raptors' relationship never seems to die. When it seems like it has, something will come up to spark the fire again.

This week, it was Vince Carter doing some self-promotion, and the Toronto media was all too happy to be Vince’s partner in crime. The Raptors were in Dallas on Wednesday to take on the Dallas Mavericks and Vince Carter, serving as Carter's excuse to take to the airwaves in Toronto.

Vince talked about the fact he would not rule out a return to Toronto to end his NBA career, sparking days of Vince Carter conversations. He also stated he would like to see his number retired in Toronto.

This led to another former Raptor personality getting into the mix on the Fan 590 in Toronto, Sam Mitchell, who shares that Carter actually might have changed his mind about wanting out of Toronto but was not believed by GM Rob Babcock at the time.

It led to a week of talk about Vince Carter and an era that is long gone for the Raptors. This is, at the end of the day, Carter's likely motivation in the first place. No talk of the current Raptors, who lost to Carter’s current team and fell to 1-4.

Why talk about something happening in 2012, when you can go back to the Toronto glory days that resulted in one playoff series victory?  Perhaps, if Vince Carer returned to Toronto, he could spin back time like Superman and the Raptors would be good again. Also, we could bring back Tracy McGrady from China and get the old band back together.

Here is the problem: this isn’t like the music business, where you can go back in time and tour like the Rolling Stones. The Raptors franchise in many ways remains stuck in that era, when Vince Carter demanded a trade and gave up on the franchise.

Have things got so bad that Raptors fans think bringing back their mortal enemy would somehow fix the issues that plague the Raptors? The sad thing is that Vince Carter would have no issue being a starter on this squad today, even with his diminished skill set.

I just fail to understand why the media and Raptors fans just can’t get past Vince Carter and his legacy with the Raptors. It was a long time ago and it isn’t coming back. The mistakes made by all involved in his departure cannot be fixed.

Vince Carter clearly wanted some attention and he knew where to go to find it. I am not going to blame him for that. I blame the media and fans for being dumb enough to fall for it.

Vince Carter continues to play the Toronto Raptors and their fans even to this day.

What's next? Will Chris Bosh get jealous and make an emotional apology for how he left Toronto? He can promise to return as well after he is done winning a few more championships with the Miami Heat.

The issue of Carter’s number being retired was also brought up, and it is something he says he would like to see happen. Honestly it probably should happen. That said the fact we talk about it while he remains a player in this league is beyond stupid. He is not some great legend that deserves such high praise.

Again, it speaks to this obsession with Vince Carter and his legacy with the Raptors that we all just can’t seem to get past.  Part of the reason why that is speaks to why Vince left in the first place. It is about the Raptors' failure as organization to produce a winner. This is also why Chris Bosh took his talents to South Beach.

If the Raptors were successful, people would care far less about Vince Carter, Chris Bosh and Tracy McGrady. They are all gone and the opportunities to be successful with them are gone as well. Is there any team in the NBA that obsesses more about what might have been than the Toronto Raptors?

We conclude with a quote from the great philosophers Wayne and Garth from Saturday Night Live: “Live in the now!”

If the Raptors ever do this, maybe we'll be able to move forward and actually get to a place where Raptors fans have more good experiences happening in the present than in the past.

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