PrintPrint

Your! Call: Could you see Vince Carter returning to Toronto?

Pat Lovgren, TSN.ca Staff

11/7/2012 2:47:39 PM

After admitting to being open to the possibility of returning in some form to the team that acquired him on draft day in 1998, current Dallas Maverick and former Toronto Raptor Vince Carter again attempted to reconcile with the city and team he was traded from nearly eight years ago.

Since not long after the departure, Carter has attempted to patch the wounds he left behind as his career in Toronto wound down, repeatedly saying he loved the city and enjoyed the six years he spent there.

He took things one step further in an interview on TSN Radio 1050 on Tuesday, saying he would welcome the opportunity to finish his career where it all began.

"If (Toronto) gave me the opportunity, I don't even think I'd let them finish the question. Yes. I'm in," Carter said, speaking on Cybulski and Company.

"Could I see it? Absolutely," Carter continued. "I'd leave that up to the franchise. It all started in Toronto, I'd be a fool to ever forget that."

At this point, Carter's feelings are known, but the question is, how would Raptors fans feel about the return of the franchise's greatest player to date?

Has enough time passed to forgive and forget the moments that defined his last days in the city, or are basketball fans still bitter over the way things transpired in his final days, culminating in his one-sided trade to the New Jersey Nets?

His supporters will point to the fact that the former fifth overall pick was the driving force behind what was and still is the franchise's greatest run of success, including the team's only playoff series win in 2001.

His high-flying, highlight reel play made the Raptors one of the league's hottest tickets and for a time, comparisons with Michael Jordan didn't seem that far-fetched.

His off-the-charts performance in the Slam Dunk Contest in Oakland in 2000, coupled with the gold medal he won with Team USA at the Sydney Olympics later that year, vaulted him to superstar status.

The bar he set in his first three seasons was one he could never live up to however, and the following three years were defined by injuries and uninspired play.

To make matters worse, as Carter's play declined, so did the team's and Carter's lackadaisical, care-free demeanor became an easy target that allowed fans to vent their frustration.

The bitterness was only emphasized after the trade to the Nets when he seemed to become re-energized, returning to his prior All-Star form, leading New Jersey to the playoffs for three consecutive seasons, while the Raptors sunk to the bottom of the NBA standings.

Still, as the years have passed, each time he has returned to the Air Canada Centre in a visitor's uniform, the negative reaction has dissipated, to the point where booing him now has almost become an afterthought.

The question is: Are Raptors fans at a point where they would accept him back in one way or another?

Would you like to see him return to play for the team that drafted him more than 14 years ago?

What about a one-day contract which would allow him to retire as a Raptor?

Is he deserving of an on-court ceremony where his accomplishments with the franchise are recognized?

To what extent, if any, would you like to see Vince Carter back with the Raptors?

It's Your! Call.