What would it have been if Vince Carter came home at the 2018-2019 Toronto Raptors and eventually won a championship with them?
These self-confessed plans of Kyle Lowry could have come true in an intimate reality.
“I don’t know if anyone knows this,” Lowry said on the “VC Show with Vince Carter” podcast (h/t Toronto Star’s Justin Wirlies). “But I tried to get Vince back with us (the Raptors) at some point. I wanted Vince. I was trying.”
After acquiring superstar Kawhi Leonard in a shock deal that sent DeMar DeRozan to the San Antonio Spurs, the Raptors are on a mission to chase their first title.
Behind Leonard’s all-time heroics, the inspiring leadership of Laurie, the flourishes of Pascal Siakam and Fred Vanfleet, as well as defensive pinning from Marc Gasol, the rap reached the 2019 NBA Finals and went on to achieve first. Championship in the history of their franchise on the Golden State Warriors.
Then the 40-year-old Carter was initially part of the hum at the time as a potential veteran piece to get for their roster heading into the post-season. In the end, it didn’t work.
But as Lowry claimed, the former franchise legend was very interested in the idea of sparking a reunion in this particular way.
“I was like one of the biggest advocates of trying to bring him back to Toronto,” Lowry added. “Vince was everything. So you guys who didn’t think Vince wasn’t all back in Toronto? This is fake.”
Before the Raptors finally came to prominence, it was Vince Carter who inspired the young Canadian players, putting the franchise and the entire city of Toronto on the basketball map.
Using his exceptional athletic style, stellar attacking power, and jaw-dropping quick streaks, Carter sparked the electrics of the North in the early 2000s, leading them to appear three times in a row in the postseason from 1999 to 2002.
But due to front-office discord and misinformation about the team’s competitive direction, Carter requested a trade and was shipped to the New Jersey Nets in 2004. Since then, future Hall of Fame and Raptors fans have endured an antagonistic relationship with each other over the years.
But in 2014, the wounds may have healed, when they played a tribute video on their home soil to acknowledge Carter’s contribution to the 20th season of their presence within the Society. Fans booed at first, but eventually turned things around to express their appreciation for the man they named “Air Canada,” which made Carter very emotional.
Since the following years, the Toronto crowd inside the Raptors circuit have given a warm welcome to pay their respects and admiration for Carter’s resonant influences.
Winning this elusive ring with the Raptors was a fictional ending for Carter to finally close the book on his legendary career. Although things did not go well according to fantasies, his influence in Toronto basketball will remain real and forever engraved in history.