When Vince Carter entered the game in Toronto Tuesday night, the Air Canada Centre erupted and gave the 41-year-old a standing ovation. The Raptors have celebrated their once prodigal son, a player they so once hated they booed him every time he got the ball.
You would hope the Nets would do something special as well considering Carter has said he’s 90 percent sure this is it for him … but don’t hold your breath.
The Nets have never treated VC’s legacy the way the Raptors have. While they never gave another player Jason Kidd’s No. 5 after he left (and rightly so), the Nets have given No. 15 to Isaiah Whitehead and most recently Alan Williams, an indication that they have no intention of retiring it. As far as we know, there’s no plan for a video tribute either, which is a damn shame.
If you look at Carter’s career, his time in New Jersey was nearly as long and at least as successful as his time in Toronto.
He played 403 games in seven seasons north of the border and 374 games in five seasons in the Meadowlands. He averaged 23.4 in Toronto, 23.6 in New Jersey. In the playoffs, he went further than he did in Toronto, playing in 15 games with the Raptors, 27 with the Nets. Also, he missed a total of 11 games in five years, all losses. Not to mention the dunks, the dramatic VC-three’s, the motor bike rev-ups … the joy of the game.
VC was much loved in New Jersey. After he left, there was no booing on his return. Just love and a lot of nostalgia. So why don’t the Brooklyn Nets treat him with the respect he deserves? We don’t know. Maybe it’s the Jersey thing, that the Nets would like you to think the franchise began in October 2012 when the team moved to Barclays Center.
Bottom line: Even if the Nets don’t have anything planned —if they do, it will be a surprise— the fans should welcome and wish him farewell. He deserves it!