[man 1] I'm flying into Toronto and I'm looking out the plane window, and I'm saying, "Is that a hoop on a driveway?"
[man 2] It was a cultural moment. People wanted to be a part of that.
[Steve Nash] Kids look up to people that come before them.
Our top kids, all of which started as Vince Carter fans, are playing in the NBA now.
[Drake] That was the thing with Vince.
Not only did he dunk, but he gave you the face after, you know?
He gave you the, like, the hand gestures, and he just gave you confidence, attitude.
[man 1] You know, you could play in New York, play in all these places--
You don't have an entire country backing you up, and I think Vince was the prelim to all that.
[Drake] He made it okay to be proud to be from Toronto.
♪ I was running through The Six With my woes ♪
[presenter] This is the moment you've been waiting for.
It's certainly the moment we all have been waiting for too.
The official naming of your team, one that is ready to join the animal kingdom of teams in the NBA.
And here it is.
The newest, freshest and hungriest look in the NBA.
Ladies and gentlemen, the Raptors... are born.
First, let me say that the NBA, in its first season, had a franchise in Canada.
The first game that was played was the Toronto Huskies against the New York Knicks.
So, there was some connection with Canadian basketball from day one of the NBA.
[Drake] We sort of fall into the stereotype of Canada.
A lot of "ehs," a lot of snow... a lot of hockey.
Not too many parents put their kids in basketball at a young age here at that time.
Hockey was the dominant sport.
We just didn't have any of that basketball culture and everything that comes with it.
[Nash] You know, I think at first, it was a little bit of a novelty for the American guys.
They're like, "Man, we're going to Canada. This is crazy."
And I think they didn't really know what to expect.
Many of them hadn't been or weren't that familiar with the landscape.
[Director X] No one knew what a Raptor was before Jurassic Park.
Everyone saw it. Everyone flipped out. Dinosaurs looked a hundred percent real.
The Raptors were the number one bad guys in the movie.
And we go and name ourselves after a movie.
I still think it's whack.
[Stern] And where we actually expanded... to Vancouver and to Toronto... the parents are gonna be fans of hockey, but over time, the kids... who will grow into the next generation of parents, are going to be basketball fans.
We started out playing in the Sky Dome.
This big, cavernous-- You know, it's 30 stories high.
It's six acres big. The sound is horrible. We had temporary sidelines.
There was all kinds of things, and we're not winning.
[Chris Young] None of them wanted to be here.
They were playing in the NBA but they weren't in an NBA city.
This was not an NBA city yet.
[Leo Rautins] You got people that know the game, then you got this whole group of people who have no clue.
People are waving these air things where you make the noise and all that.
You know, when our guys are shooting a free throw, no, no, no! No.
It's when they shoot a free throw. [chuckles]
At the time, our-- Our jerseys were corny too because we had the big ass dinosaur, and they'd kill us when I would go to New York, LA, you know, anywhere where they love sports.
They'll be like, "Yo, so what up with that Barney ass team that you got?"
I didn't think many people thought that it would last.
[commentator 1] Jordan defends.
Oliver Miller, with time winding down.
-He goes for three. -[buzzer sounds]
[commentator 2] Okay. Off the backboard.
The right guy got the ball.
[Michael Grange] I remember kind of walking around outside... Sky Dome, then, talking to scalpers and just how you couldn't-- You could've burned those tickets.
There was no interest whatsoever.
[Tracy McGrady] In this situation right here, LeBron got the defender in the air, so, there's a driving lane, right?
If you're the best player, there's a driving lane for you.
I want him to drive that ball because the only person in between him and the basket is Al Horford and that commitment, if Al Horford commits, that's...
I had no clue where the hell Toronto was.
When I was extremely cold...
I didn't know anything about the weather until I got up there.
Eighteen-year-old kid in this foreign country.
Legal age is 19. What am I going to do?
What an experience for an 18-year-old... coming out of high school, making millions of dollars, living by himself.
Basketball, uh, was probably the second thing on my mind.
[Russ Bengtson] McGrady obviously was a reach... you know, in '97, like...
There hadn't been too many high school guys.
He came into the league, and... he just wasn't very good yet.
[McGrady] Now that I look back on it, you know, I really didn't have at that time any teammates, you know, my rookie season to hang out with because everybody else was older than I was.
When Tracy became a Raptor, we didn't know we were cousins.
Over the summer, they have open gym.
Vince is there that summer. Tracy's this young phenom.
He's there, and so they're getting ready to go, and Tracy said, "Well, I won't be here next weekend because I got to go to my family reunion."
Tracy mentioned somebody's name.
I think it was his grandmother if I remember correctly, Roberta, and I remember my mother talking about Roberta at the family reunion.
[laughs] We're cousins.
[McGrady] I couldn't believe it because when I was a junior in high school and I used to play before him, you know, he was Mr. Florida at this time, like, he was the best thing in Florida.
The things that I used to see... this kid do in high school, I never seen this in my life.
[broadcaster] We have a terrific crowd on hand here at the Mark Twain Center on the campus of the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and all are eagerly awaiting the top high school basketball players in the country, as Coca-Cola presents the McDonald's All American High School Slam Jam.
This is the pre-slam-dunk favorite, Vince Carter, 6'6", 195 pounds.
He has been called Jordan-esque.
[commentator] This is the guy that even the players that play with him, they love to see this guy dunk. Let's watch.
[broadcaster] Oh! [laughs]
Oh! Holy cats!
Following the final dunk!
[Vince Carter] As a high school athlete, you always dream of putting that hat on and shaking David Stern's hand, and... you never know.
And I was just one of those guys like that.
I mean, I knew I could play the game, but you never know if you're good enough to make the NBA.
[Jay Piccola] Puma, as a brand, was struggling in the early 90s, and to jumpstart the brand again, we thought getting back into basketball was critical.
I was watching every bit of college basketball I could get my hands on... and, uh, we earmarked Vince Carter as the guy.
We thought he was the guy to help us reinvent basketball.
-[commentator] The alley-oop! -[crowd cheers]
[commentator 2] Yes, sir! Mr. Carter!
[Glen Grunwald] Everyone works out before the draft with each team, does an interview, all those kinds of things.
Vince kind of came in, and sort of as an unknown, and he came in and was so amazing, like, I--
It was the best workout I'd ever seen in terms of his athleticism.
[Young] You could tell this was a guy they wanted to get.
This was a team badly in need of that kind of player, a player who would bring you out of your seats.
[presenter] For the second time in four years, the NBA draft is taking us north of the border.
Tonight, it's Vancouver, British Columbia, and the home of the Grizzlies, General Motors Place.
[Piccola] Our fear, because we were following the draft order, "Please don't get drafted by Toronto, please don't get drafted by Toronto.
We don't need energy in To-- In Canada right now.
We need energy in the United States. Please don't get drafted by Toronto."
With the fourth pick in the 1998 NBA draft, -the Toronto Raptors select... -[audience boos]
Antawn Jamison, from the University of North Carolina.
[Carter-Scott] The Jamison family was sitting right next to our table, and I'll never forget the look on Mr. Jamison's face.
He turns around, and he looks at me in my face, and I just... I did like this. I didn't know what's going on.
With the fifth pick in the 1998 NBA draft, the Golden State Warriors select Vince Carter, from the University of North Carolina.
[Carter] I remember walking up there, the steps, and it's like okay, don't--
First and foremost, don't fall up the steps.
That's the first thing.
And we take the picture, and he-- All he says, he's like, "Wait one second.
There's a trade about to happen."
And I'm like, "Dang, somebody's getting traded already."
Antawn was standing right there.
So, I was like, "Yeah, what's up?"
Like, "Man, I finally got drafted, whatever."
And he was saying something to me, but it's like so much going on at the same time so I nev-- I didn't quite catch what he was saying.
And I guess he was telling me, "We're about to get traded."
I'd like to announce a trade.
Toronto has traded the rights to Antawn Jamison to Golden State... for the rights to Vince Carter plus cash consideration.
[Grunwald] There was a rumor out there that Golden State really wanted Antawn Jamison and they--
They were afraid we were going to draft Antawn Jamison and then trade him to Milwaukee.
They wanted to protect themselves, to stop that from happening, so they asked us to draft Antawn Jamison first and then trade them for Vince.
Thank you very much.
We're here with the newest member of the Toronto Raptors, Vince Carter, drafted number five overall.
Vince, tell me how excited you are about playing in Toronto.
[chuckles] I'm excited.
I had a great workout up there, and...
I had an opportunity just to see the city and I also have a cousin out there playing so it-- It makes it a, um, an experience of a lifetime, and I'm really looking forward to it.
[Butch Carter] I think we got lucky that Vince wasn't against coming to Canada.
I was a young coach.
I had all this stuff in my head about what I would do if I ever got a team or players that I played with the Lakers.
And all of a sudden, I got at least two of them in Vince and Tracy.
They knew that they could count on each other, and that became really important.
[McGrady] This was a turn in my career and my attitude towards the game.
We hung out every day. We lived in the same building.
It was just a bond that, you know, we formed at that time because we missed so many years of being around each other.
First day of practice, I called a team meeting before we even got on the court and did anything.
I knew my skill level. I knew what I could do.
I knew I played with Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing.
I made them better. They didn't make me better.
So, I knew I could make Vince and Tracy better.
Charles Oakley, I think day two, put his arm around me and said, "Hey, I'm going to help you..." [stutters]
"...make it in this league and be a star in this league."
And, of course, you don't tell Charles Oakley no, first of all.
You're just like, "All right, cool."
[Grange] Part of what was powerful about Vince Carter, he kind of came out of nowhere and, you know, all of a sudden he shows up, and he's way better than anyone thought he was going to be.
And he was better in a way that was electrifying.
[Drake] You start to see this explosive guy.
He emerges onto the scene and starts performing magic.
[commentator] Vince Carter showing you some of the highlight reel.
[Drake] There's always a saying, like, you know, girls have to want to be with you, guys have to want to be you, you know.
So, it's like... Vince just had that.
He just had that about him.
[commentator] Carter wants the lob, there it is.
[Rautins] John Saunders and I were doing the Raptor games.
On a nightly basis, we'd just look at each other and go, "No, that didn't... No. Come on, seriously?"
Th-- That's what this guy brought to the table.
[Carter-Scott] Vince, he's a very artsy person... and his artistry was... his moves and dunking.
[commentator] Newman drives.
[Carter-Scott] It was almost like ballet in the air.
[commentator] Ahead of the pack. Showtime!
[Chuck Swirsky] We were on the road, and I'm putting my game notes together, and I've got Sports Center on.
All of a sudden, I'm hearing my voice over a Vince Carter dunk.
[Swirsky commentating] Are you kidding me? Air Canada's soaring!
That was an exciting time, you know, in the sport, [imitates Sports Center theme]
Everybody was looking for those moments, trying to check Sports Center to see what kind of dunk probably that you never seen before.
[Piccola] He had the most exciting dunks that we've seen in a long time.
In fact, we named his first shoe based on an announcer when he went in for a dunk, and he called it the Vinsanity. That's Vinsanity.
Just to prove.
Number 15, Vince Carter. This was, uh, Vince's shoe.
The first Vinsanity shoe was the top selling shoe Puma ever had.
So, I was fortunate enough to make it in the NBA, I said I want to be in the Dunk Contest because I watched it, I studied it.
I recorded all the Dunk Contests, and I would just look at it and just try to figure out the whys of each dunk.
Why is this guy doing this? What is he trying to accomplish?
What is he... looking to show the judges, fans, so on and so forth?
That's how I looked at it.
That's how... That's where I was.
When fans were oohing and aahing, I was like, "Ooh, that was nice, but why did he do it?"
I didn't want to do it, because I-- I knew...
I mean, this is my-- My teammate.
Like, I see him every day and what he's capable of.
Why would I want to enter the Dunk Contest and know this dude is going to win it?
He'd say it was a bad idea.
He's like, you know, "Let's just back out."
[chuckles] He was like, "I'm backing out."
I wouldn't let him back out because I knew he had something to show the fans, and I was like, "We talked about this. Let's give them what they wanted."
We were going back and forth.
I think it was one day... you know, we was in his apartment playing video games, and he just kept bothering me the whole freaking day.
I mean, this was-- This went on for quite some time, and, um...
You know, I just went ahead and agreed to do it.
[Young] It was raining torrentially, like, for the entire weekend, and it was in Oakland, but everybody was staying in San Francisco.
So, you basically spent the-- The day going back and forth across the Bay Bridge.
Our car that we were supposed to have... missing, nowhere to be found to take us over to the arena.
So, we're walking up and down the street, whatever, trying to find our driver.
Cannot find this guy.
So, we ended up getting a sedan... four of us, Tracy and I and then two guys who were probably 275 minimum... and we're trying to squeeze in this thing going over to-- Over the bridge to get over to-- To the arena.
I'm over here. I'm panicking, freaking out.
And T Mac really didn't want to do the Dunk Contest anyway so this was like playing in his hands, like, "Yep, see? Might as well just don't do it."
I was like, "No, we're doing this."
I fulfilled a goal being drafted, playing in the NBA, fulfilling that dream.
This was part two of that... ultimate goal and dream is being in the Dunk Contest.
As more people would file in, and you could just feel the buzz... my adrenaline and excitement just began to grow, and I was just out of control.
Throughout the layup line, I was just trying things, and I got caught up in the moment where some of the dunks that I was... doing or going to do, I was kind of doing, eh, doing them in there.
So, I was like, "It's not worth it now.
Scrap it. We'll, you know, just figure it out from there."
The rest was history.
[commentator 1] This crowd wants to see Vince Carter, who had told Kenny Smith that he has four dunks that no one has ever seen.
[commentator 2] Hey, this guy is moving back on the sideline NBA players when he's coming. I don't understand this.
This guy is making everybody move back.
If he's gonna take off from the free-throw line at the beginning now, I'll just lose it right here.
-[commentator 1 laughs] -I'll lose it right now, Danny.
[commentator 1] All right, here is Vince Carter
-with his first stuff! -[crowd cheers]
[commentator 2] Let's go home!
Let's go home, ladies and gentlemen! Let's go home!
Let's go home!
Let's go home!
[commentator 1] This building just exploded.
[commentator 2] That is a reverse 360 going against the grain.
That is unbelievable.
[commentator 1] And here's the second dunk of the night.
[Vince Carter shouts]
And Vince adding to the repertoire.
[commentator 2] They are in awe of what they are seeing.
That is-- That is unbelievable.
[commentator 3] Keep in mind, Vince Carter also has a few stitches in that left hand where he incurred an injury dealing with weights in the weight room.
So he's stitched up in the left hand doing all this.
-[commentator 1] Oh! -[commentator 2] It's over!
It's over, ladies and gentlemen!
[commentator 3] The judges are coming... over the table to congratulate Vince Carter.
This is unheard of!
[commentator 2] Oh, my goodness gracious! It is over!
Did I call it, Danny, or what?
Tracy McGrady, he doesn't even know what to do.
He's walking away.
He plays with this guy every day, and he's in awe.
[commentator 1] All right, Vince Carter with his first on the final round.
[commentator 2] Wait. Time out. Can-- Can I take a time out?
I've never seen that before.
[Bengtson] That was one of the perfect Dunk Contest performances.
I think that just put him to a whole other level.
Everyone was just pounding on their chest like, "Yeah, that's us.
You know? That's us." And it didn't matter, like...
At that moment, everybody was just a childlike fan. You know?
Shaq, KG, all these guys.
They were just with big video cameras out, like, just fans, you know, of our guy.
[panelist 1] Dominique Wilkins, Michael Jordan, Dr. J, Vince Carter and yourself.
Now, that is a powerhouse.
You guys have all won Dunk Contests in the past.
So, I'm curious.
In the prime of all those players' careers, who wins a Dunk Contest?
-Uh... Vince. -[panelist 1 shouts] What?
-Yeah. I would say Vince. -[panelist 2] I got to see it.
-[panelist 1] I had him fifth. -You know, Vince is, uh...
No, you...You know, Vince is a special dunker, man.
-[panelist 2] You seen what he can do? -He's a special dunker.
He's a special, special dunker, and I think MJ did some stuff that was revolutionary for his time, as did Dr. J, and, uh, you know, the way Vince dunks the ball, you know, the way that he's dunked the ball when he was in a Dunk Contest was just... Was unbelievable.
When he got back to Toronto, it was like a coming out party.
Right, like, th-- Everyone became a Raptors fan overnight.
It's a similar thing to hip-hop. You know what I mean? Like...
Kids wanted to be a part of hip-hop, but it's dope when you can see somebody from your...
Somebody from your city that's actually in with all the people that you love.
So, imagine now you're seeing Vince and, like, people are just bowing down to Vince across the whole thing, that's when you're wearing your jersey, and you're like, "Word," like, "Raptors, that's who we are."
Things started changing and you see the vibe in the city, and the energy's starting to build up.
Every channel, every billboard, every school or whatever.
It was about the Raptors, but he was the lead singer, so he got the shine.
All these companies were coming in, I mean...
Vince was wearing so many different pair of shoes.
He was wearing AND1s. He was wearing Nikes, like...
I'm like, "Damn, brother. I mean, choose one."
Nike has added Toronto Raptors star, Vince Carter, to its elite roster of athletes.
He unveiled the latest Nike Shox VC2 in Toronto today.
I want people to feel comfortable and to feel like it's theirs when they put it on.
And I think they're going to get that when you put these shoes on.
[Nik Stauskas] I always had myself a pair of Nike Shox.
I'd come back home and I'd wear them for, like, the rest of my season, or whatever, and pretend like I was dunking on people, but I really wasn't yet, but it made me feel cool.
I mean, I bought them because Vince wore them.
[Roter] In the early 2000s, I was at Toronto's first sneaker summit.
There were literally a handful of people down with sneakers.
There were no lineups, like, there was nothing.
Jordans would literally sit on shelves, fifty, seventy percent off, no problem.
It wasn't until Vince that it really started.
[Travis Agresti] There was only maybe three or four downtown nightclubs when we opened, and Vince loved it.
We agreed on a deal, and Vince came in as my 50-percent partner.
He would show up at staff meetings with a--
A clipboard, you know, just to take notes and learn, you know, how it works.
[Carter] It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
It wasn't about money more so than opportunity.
When these players are coming into town, we have some place for them to go.
After a while, I started getting phone calls from players that I didn't really talk to, didn't have their numbers.
Like, how did you get my number?
Like, "Yo, is your club open tonight? We want to come and hang out."
It was just another way of letting players know what Toronto has to offer.
Whether you were at Vince's club or whether Vince was somewhere else or whether you were just out and Vince wasn't there, his presence was felt because the city was just on.
[Kardinal Offishall] This is the first time that you're seeing these superstars party with everybody.
At that time, the vibes that were in the city was out of control.
[Director X] There's certain cities: London, Paris, Toronto, Vancouver...
You know what I'm saying? Someone says, "Oh, you're going there. Call my friend."
And that friend shows people around.
That's what they do. That's just part of...
They're out in the scene and then they show people... the city.
And Mona's that for Toronto.
I started at a time with no bottle service, no digital cameras, no social media, just, like, maybe one guy... in the NBA who came to the party, brought his teammates.
And the NBA's so small that, you know, one person tells another person, "Oh, well, if you go to Toronto, call Mona."
A year later, bottle service just started-- Just took over.
[Agresti] Obviously, Vince being American, you know, big staple, you know, for the nightclubs in Vegas, Miami, New York, is bottle service.
He couldn't understand if, like, we have 1,500 people in here, and we're selling single drinks on the floor, but there's tables everywhere.
I don't understand why we can't do what they do in the US and sell bottles to people.
We met with our liquor license lawyer, and we went through, you know, "What can we do?"
"How can we make this work?"
You know, and he said, "No one's ever really challenged this."
We were the, uh... The first ones in Toronto that... did it, and opened the door for... For all the nightclubs now.
[Mona] When you grow up in certain American cities, and you're only surrounded by one type of culture, one type of person, or one type of language and you come to Toronto, and we're such a multicultural, diverse city, you're going to come here and think, "Oh, my God. This is so exotic."
Or, "I've never seen anything like this."
Everybody, you know, is mingling with each other.
There's no real, um... segregation here as far as, like, you know, cultures go.
I mean, all my friends growing up were... from all walks of life.
Up here was one of the first places where you could go, and it's like, you would hear Jay-Z, but then you're gonna go down south and hear Trick Daddy, but then you're gonna go to the Caribbean and hear dancehall.
There's all these different things that made our city so unique.
I was a proud Toronto dude. I would talk with Toronto slang.
I would bring videos to Toronto or suggest coming to Toronto or talk--
You know what I'm saying?
So, within the music scene, people knew Toronto and, at that time, Little X... were-- They went together.
So, I joke with Drake; I'm John the Baptist to his Jesus.
[laughs] You know what I'm saying?
I prepped... I was prepping...
I was prepping the industry for this Toronto thing.
It wasn't until, like, the early 2000s, like, urban became, like, kind of, like, an industry term, and, um, videos started to be shot here.
Movies were shot here.
And then you had Vince.
[producer] My name is Vince.
My name is Vince.
[producer] My name is Vince Carter.
My name is Vince Carter.
[Nash] The corporate dollars in Canada traditionally go to hockey.
For Vince Carter to win over those corporate dollars and to do so well endorsing products in Canada, Vince was the one that was the pioneer that kind of started to break down barriers and started to say, like, "Hey, this basketball thing is coming, and it's for real."
[anchorwoman] With one of his signature slam-dunks, Toronto Raptor, Vince Carter inaugurated a new, state-of-the-art basketball court in Etobicoke today.
The city of Toronto and Toronto police were partners in the project.
I just hope it creates a lot of great basketball players.
I mean, we're not here to really create NBA superstars or anything, but I think just instilling confidence in each and everybody here and giving them some place to play where they can stay out of trouble and--
And don't think of crime first, you think, "Hey, go down here and get in a--
Having a great pickup game night in and night out."
[Dell Curry] Steph and Seth came to every practice they could.
Steph was in the eighth grade. Seth was six.
I remember pulling in the Air Canada Center, putting the car in park, and they'd be out and in the gym before I could get the keys out of the ignition.
They knew that building better than anyone.
[Carter] I remember just seeing Seth over there dribbling, trying to dribble the ball all the time and...
And Steph over there just dribbling the ball waiting, and it-- It was just like clockwork.
That's what we did. After I got my workout in, he would--
We'd play one on one. I just remember, "You ready?
You ready?" I was like, "Almost done. Almost done."
I mean, he was just itching to play.
[Steph Curry] My sport kind of, um... is basketball, and I'm wanting to, um... practice more on it and, um... try to make it to the pros if I have a chance.
[broadcaster] From Toronto, the Raptors hosting the Phoenix Suns.
Air Canada has been cleared for takeoff.
You know, television networks, they don't get any credit for having great viewership up here in Canada.
They really sort of, more or less, focus on US-based teams.
Vince, when he was at the peak of his popularity, he overcame all that for us.
[Carter] We didn't get noticed at all, and that was kind of the fight we were having with the NBA for so long.
We were fighting with them, like, "Put us on TV. Give us an opportunity. Let us be seen.
We're young and up and coming. Just give us a chance."
This was the stage.
[commentator] Here's Carter with the screen.
Three-pointer on its way.
[McGrady] People in the states really didn't see us that much.
I think, for Vince, they-- I think it changed his whole career... on that national stage and showing his incredible athleticism and his creativity.
Um... I-- I think that really opened the door for the Raptors.
-[commentator] Christy is fouled! -[whistle blows]
-And that's it! Game over! -[crowd cheers]
It was a superb performance, and the hero of the hour is with Ahmad.
I asked you before the game if you were nervous, big national television debut. 51 points. I guess you weren't.
I was excited. Uh...
Chance of a lifetime and a opportunity for the Raptors to put ourselves on the map, and just become recognized in this league.
All of a sudden, people know where Toronto is. It's crazy.
All of a sudden, everybody's talking about Vince.
They're talking about the Raptors, they're talking about Toronto.
[Young] It was America looking. It was the world looking.
That year, that... was a huge year for Toronto and for Vince Carter and for the Raptors.
[commentator] ...with the game winner in game two.
Johnson for three!
Banked it in!
Oh, no. The LJ sign prevails.
[Carter] T Mac and I, being the young guys, trying to do whatever we could do to pull off a win, and we didn't do it.
We could see the potential the two of us together in that playoffs, but now he felt like he was ready to fly.
[Muggsy Bogues] Well, we all thought that T Mac was gonna stay with Vince and stay with the organization for quite some time.
But as you kept seeing, you know, the time tick off the clock, you could see that he wanted his own spotlight.
[McGrady] I didn't get as much playing time as he did.
It was the Vince Carter show.
Couldn't talk me out of it. I mean, I hated--
Vince, I hated to leave you, but it's a business, baby. [laughs]
I hated to leave, but, um... you know, I had to do what's best for me.
It hurt a little bit.
You know? But that's the way it goes, and... you know, I slept on it. It's over with now.
Um, but, definitely, it's tough to swallow.
I guess when they feel--
When you think they feel one way and then they leave, you know, here comes the truth, I guess.
[Granger] Toronto still seemed so far, I think, for a young guy like Tracy, and once Vince really blew up, I think he kind of felt a little hard done by because he was getting overlooked, and, even now, when you think and talk and look back at it, it's still kind of sad that it never got a chance to take off.
The way I turned out as a player, who Vince was, uh, I-- I think, you know, what we had around us, in terms of young versus veteran, uh, savvy vets...
Yeah, you know, in hindsight, looking back, it would have been a hell of a team, a team that possibly could have competed for a championship.
However, I chose to go home and play for Orlando.
[Carter] I think media and fans made it more of an issue than it really was, and tried to turn us against each other.
It was just a tough summer, kind of dealing with that with him and-- And--
Through other people and channels and what not, and we finally got past that and then had to worry about the next season.
Its already been a busy day for Toronto's Vince Carter.
Vince arrived in Chapel Hill at about 9 a.m. to attend his college graduation ceremonies and met with the media.
Carter, who earned his degree in Afro-American Studies, joined his fellow graduates in the class of 2001.
Then, at about 11 o'clock, he boarded the private plane of the Raptors team owner and flew to Philadelphia for the game.
Vince arrived at about 12:15, five hours and 15 minutes before the game.
As he gets ready for game seven, he spoke with Andrea Joyce.
All right. Thanks, Ahmad.
Vince Carter, the newest graduate of the University of North Carolina.
Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?
I'm just glad it's over. Just ready to play.
What was this day like for you?
Can you describe the emotions involved in this day and what it’s been like?
It's really nothing to describe, uh...
You know, it's just time to play basketball.
Everything else is put behind me right now, and that's all I can think about.
There were some people who questioned, including some of your teammates, who questioned your decision to go to North Carolina considering the magnitude of this game.
What's your response to that criticism?
I have no response. I have no comment for it, and the fact of the matter is I'm here. I'm ready to play.
People are calling this the biggest game in Toronto Raptors' franchise history.
If you take a step back, though, and look at it that way, can you understand that there would be concern?
I don't care. I don't care. I'm accomplishing two things.
I'm in the big-- The biggest game and I accomplished the biggest thing of my life, and that's to graduate, so...
[commentator] Sixers by one, but the Raptors with the ball.
Two seconds to go. Toronto out of time outs.
They got Dell Curry inbounding the ball.
They're going to set screens for Vince Carter coming to it.
Curry has it.
Carter trying to get free.
Carter at the buzzer! No good!
And the Sixers hold on and advance to the conference finals!
[Dell Curry] I actually passed him the ball in that corner shot.
It's a shot he's made a hundred times, um, but it just didn't happen to go in that time.
It had nothing to do with, uh, what transpired earlier in the day.
Uh, he just missed the shot. It's the way it went.
[Carter] Being blamed for the game, um...
They're going to blame me flying, me graduating.
I didn't regret any of, um, the decisions I made that day.
Um, the only thing I hated was me not making that shot.
[anchorman] For months, it's been a frequent question in Toronto.
Will he stay?
Or will Vince Carter go to a team in the US, his homeland?
The answer today.
I'm gonna announce that, uh, I'm extending my contract, and I'm going to continue to be a Raptor here.
It's a great place to be. I feel comfortable here.
It's like home. You know, that's where, you know, I think Dorothy said, "There's no place like home," and when I come here, that's what I want to feel like, home.
And it does.
What I got to take my hat off to Vince is he was somebody that literally was-- Was leading the charge in what it meant to really love Toronto.
There was so much groundwork that was put in, and a lot of the weight was on Vince's back.
[interviewer] Both of you guys talked about Caribana.
A lot of people sleep on Toronto.
They don't know about what's going on up here.
I don't think... To enjoy the city, you don't have to come up during Caribana.
[Carter] I remember Caribana weekend, when I started to incorporate my charity game, just giving 'em another opportunity to show players what Toronto has to offer but not during the season.
Now, in the summertime, which is... out of control in the summer.
[Carter] Hey, first of all... yo, I want to thank everybody up in here, 19,800.
I'm thanking each and every one of you for coming out and making this possible.
We just made history.
We sold out a charity game, man.
I just signed six years. We doing it for six more.
-I appreciate it. -[crowd cheers]
What's really goin' on?
TO, baby. TO, baby!
[Granger] Everyone likes to be a star... initially.
The idea of it's great, but then, all of a sudden, you are one, and you're a franchise player, and I think Vince... at a certain point, um, that responsibility kind of weighed on him.
And a new management team came in, and they were determined to put their own stamp on it.
This was the Rob Babcock era, and it just clashed.
I hired Rob Babcock, which was not a good move, and that really upset Vince.
[Swirsky] We're making changes: front office changes, coaches changes.
Some of the draft picks don't work out.
Some of the trades don't work out.
And all of a sudden, the injuries start.
[correspondent] Thank you, Chuck. I just talked to Vince leaving the Pistons locker room.
He had X-rays. As it turns out, it's that left Achilles again.
He said he felt it pop when he just aggravated it when he was jumping.
It's doubtful that he'll return. Guys?
[Carter] I played a lot of games from the time that I was drafted... until that point I was-- I had gotten injured.
And I loved playing. I loved playing.
It was unfortunate with the injuries and it made it tough for me, 'cause, you know, I play above the rim. That was my game.
And all of a sudden, you know, kind of, the new regime comes in.
They had a different plan.
[Jalen Rose] A turning point usually happens when a team is trying to figure out whether they want to trade you or not.
For public consumption, what ends up happening is they start to sully your name.
They start to leak things that may or may not be true, that the public can or can't follow.
So, now, all of a sudden, if you miss a practice, if you miss a game, he was dealing with some injuries, if your team isn't playing well, that makes people say, "Oh, then they should get rid of him. He doesn't really want to be here.
He doesn't really love us."
He did have some injuries, and he's not playing, and we're not... playing well, and... you know, you-- Crowds can turn on you. So, they started going on him.
And it really became apparent that Vince should leave.
You could tell, with Vince, that, uh...
I think he just got to a point where, you know... if it's going to be like this, you know, I don't want to be here.
And then a lot of the criticism started coming.
A lot of people thought that he was bailing.
[journalist 1] You used to get to the foul line a lot more, used to get a lot of dunks inside, is it--
I don't want to dunk anymore.
-Why not? -For what?
Get fouled, go to the free-throw line.
You can get a-- Make a layup and get fouled, and go to the free-throw line.
[journalist 2] When you do dunk, don't you feel it energizes your squad, maybe takes something away from the other team?
Chris dunks. You got a lot of guys dunking.
Lamond dunking the ball now. We have a lot of people dunking the ball.
-I just... -[journalist 2] Yeah, but--
I dunk when--
[journalist 2] You're in your own league of dunking.
Thank you, but... [chuckles] It's overrated.
Dunking's overrated. Would you agree?
[journalist 2] No.
-It is overrated. -[journalist 3] Zone defenses...
[Carter-Scott] There was never a thought that Vince would not be... a Toronto Raptor.
You know, when you buy property somewhere, you don't think you're getting ready to leave.
You just-- That was just never a thought.
So the main source of sports entertainment in Canada these days is generally Raptors basketball and all-star, Vince Carter, in particular.
But not anymore.
A Friday trade sends Air Canada to the Nets for Alonzo Mourning, two other players and a couple of low-level first round picks.
I was... you know... traded... [laughs] pretty much, and it came off as I wanted out.
I wanted to... To move on, but I never wanted to leave there.
[Peddie] I'm the president. I'm not the basketball guy.
I can't say, "That's a horrible trade. You can't do it."
So, I let it happen, and it was a horrible trade.
And I believe that set us back.
Not only did we lose him, but we lost him for nothing.
[anchorman] Here he is. He's returning now... in a New Jersey Nets uniform.
I felt like a lot of Raptors fans felt that there was that anger.
It was the most emotional game I've ever broadcast.
[commentator] You can hear the crowd is into it already, and if you're Vince Carter, you may want to pull that headband down around your ears.
[announcer] Here are the starting lineups for the teams.
First, for the visiting New Jersey Nets...
...from North Carolina, a 6'6 guard, number 15, Vince Carter.
Now, from California, 6'4...
[Carter-Scott] He was hurt.
He was hurt.
Will he say that publicly? I don't know, but I just did.
He was very hurt, because when Vince's grandmother is sitting there watching the television, she hears the boos.
She cries... because that's her grandchild.
And at the end of the day, he's no longer a basketball player.
That's just her grandchild.
It took probably three, four years before the booing got to where it was just a non-issue.
Those first three or four years were horrible.
I feel like Vince has been forgiven for something that maybe was completely overblown to begin with.
You know, I think they've been able to come kind of full circle on Vince and understand that he did give a lot to that city.
[commentator] We just witnessed quite an amazing moment here.
Vince Carter has received a standing ovation...
...that has brought tears to his eyes.
They just showed a video tribute of Carter on the big screen.
At first, a lot of fans started booing... and then they started rising, in crescendo.
Vince Carter, cheered in Toronto for the first time since he left.
The guy they used to call "Air Canada" has been cheered loudly, and maybe there is some closure.
[Adam Herstig] We have a lot of people that come from Toronto or just fans of Vince Carter so we always keep a four-way dedicated to him.
Now, from an authentic standpoint, you know, we make authentic jerseys, and I was speaking to how authentic jersey sales have been growing, so...
When I say authentic, that means we have to make it the way it was exactly, uh, made when the player wore it.
Um, other pieces we make, and I think this is actually more popular...
'98-99, the purple and the old dinosaur is really popular right now.
In the last four years, we went from 3,000 to over 300,000 in jersey sales alone.
So just jerseys. So just these types of pieces, right?
And that's-- That number will be bigger when you start to bring in things, like, kind of lighter pieces, more lifestyle pieces like T-shirts...
Vinsanity, half man, half amazing, all the different taglines on the tees and the fleece.
Vince Carter, for sure, is a top-five-performing player for us, sales wise.
[Nash] I think having a player like that, a transformative player, somebody that spanned the generations and that kids and grandparents could all marvel at, I mean, it definitely lifted the game in that city and inspired a whole generation of kids to become NBA fans.
Now, we have hoops in driveways and the game in everyone's living room every night.
[McGrady] It was the unknown with him because you go to a game and it's...
You know, you don't know what you're going to see.
You don't know what you're going to get out of him.
This was transcending for the game of basketball, globally and in Canada.
I can possibly say that hockey... probably got one notch over basketball in Toronto, and it stems from the Vince Carter days.
Them kids was out on the basketball court wishing they was Vince Carter.
That's where the dreams begin.
[Carter-Scott] I'm proud that's where it started... a country that, before June 24, 1998... we had never been to.
We just-- We just knew that that was the country just north of us and that was it.
[Carter] When I was drafted, I was 21 years old.
I was left at 27, so they watched me grow.
They watched me become this player, the Vinsanity thing.
They watched the half man, half amazing thing.
All of these things that...
I worked hard to become and the player that I've become, they-- They all got the opportunity to see that from the beginning.
[Drake] I had an interaction with Vince as a kid.
I was at a Raptors game, and, um...
I was standing in the tunnel, and he gave me that, uh...
VC 15 armband that he always wears.
Yeah, I always used to keep it in my-- In my... room at my mom's house.
Without Vince, I don't know if any of us really would have had that feeling that this city was a place that people would pay attention to.
Double T, Tristan Thompson.
No, I don't play for the Raptors.
-[woman] Who do you play for? -Cleveland.
-[woman] Oh, really? -Yeah, the team that beats on the Raptors.
Then I have go to my Mom's house. Yeah, that too.
My Mom's house for her to make me a home-cooked Jamaican dish... then Randy's takeout.
They have the best Jamaican patties in the world, in the world, in the world.
Those are my three spots I gotta-- I gotta go.
Whenever I'm home:
Randy's, Tim Horton's and have Mom cook me a meal.
Entertainment, in terms of slam-dunks, that's how you-- You win the household.
You know, that's how you-- You have a kid that falls in love with the game, and Vince Carter was definitely, uh, number one on my list.
I went to one of his camps when I was younger, and, uh, obviously, you know, he's probably done so many camps it's probably hard to-- Hard to remember me, but I remember him.
There's so many kids that are-- Are following up every year with-- With great talent and representing our country at such a high level.
Uh, it makes you very proud to be Canadian.
[Cory Joseph] They call Toronto, uh, "The Six."
They know of it more now, you know, with, you know, Drake putting it in his lyrics and all that.
It's funny because I was gonna, you know, be a different number when I-- When I got here.
Drake and everybody was like, "Be number six."
So I was like, "All right. I'm gonna be number six."
[laughs] I mean, that's epic, it's a epic number.
Whenever the opportunity presented itself, it was a no-brainer for me. Uh...
First time coming, my first game, I was... I was super nervous.
Uh, you know, I was like, I had all my family here. I had so much tickets.
I had-- Probably had one--
A whole section here, uh, just, you know, family, friends.
Uh, I was super nervous, you know, I just--
Then, after the game, I kind of dropped my shoulders.
It was a blast. I had-- I'm having a blast.
Every game, every moment I play here is-- Is crazy.
I mean, just to be able to put on this Raptors jersey, playing for my hometown, playing for Canada, playing in front of fans that, you know, grew up, and I can share the same experiences of being able to watch guys like Vince.
I remember going in, you know, my driveway where there used to be, like, a little hoop and then trying to imitate all the dunks that he was doing.
Obviously, the rim wasn't no ten feet.
It was about, like, you know, way lower, but I tried to imitate all his dunks.
It was crazy. We didn't even realize that, you know, that kind of sparked a little... uh, you know, run of, you know, Canadian players, you know, getting drafted and all that stuff, so we didn't realize how big it was at the moment.
Every year, there's, you know, Canadians coming into the league.
With the first pick in the 2013 NBA draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select Anthony Bennett of Toronto, Canada.
With the first pick in the 2014 NBA draft, the Cleveland Cavaliers select...
Andrew Wiggins, from Toronto and the University of Kansas.
Cory and Tristan got drafted the same year in the first round, and those are guys I grew up with, and I played on the same team as them.
When you run in and out of the tunnels now, you see all these fans hanging over the railings on the side asking for autographs, and I remember doing that, asking for Vince's autograph you know, when I was, you know, seven, eight years old.
Just the impact he made and, you know, how many kids he... you know, affected is pretty tremendous.
[Stauskas] When I was nine or ten years old, my brother and I decided to go to a Raptors open practice, and it was at the Air Canada Centre.
And you know what the funny thing was is earlier in that day, before we, uh...
Before we left for the Air Canada Centre, I went into the backyard and spent like an hour, like, warming up, like...
There was something in my mind where I believed that I was going to get asked to go on the court that day.
So I, like, specifically, like, practiced my shooting that morning, and we're sitting there, we're watching the practice and everything's going great, and then there's this guy that comes up to us.
He has, like, the headset. He comes up to me.
He was like, "How would you like to come on the court and play with Vince Carter?"
I was like... I mean, you don't have to ask me twice.
Like, I-- I, like, jumped over, like, the little barrier, and, like, I came on with him.
And sure enough, I had made, like, my first, like, four or five shots, and I started, like, hitting threes.
I remember Vince came over and, like, tackled me to the floor, and it was just, like-- It was seriously one of the best moments of my entire life, especially because that was my childhood hero.
It's honestly so crazy to, like, look back at it now... and see that it really was Vince.
It was Vince that started all of this for us.
[Dan Patrick] Who did you grow up wanting to play for?
[Kevin Durant] Um, believe it or not, I wanted to play for the Toronto Raptors.
That was my favorite team growing up.
[Durant] I was a big Vince Carter fan, and I just liked their jerseys, to be honest.
You know, that was a new team when I was growing up, so I wanted to-- I wanted to be a part of that.
I'm sure that they would love to have had you.
But you loved Carter just because the jumping ability?
Just his enthusiasm he showed and athleticism, you know, how he brought Toronto from being one of the newer teams in the league to, you know, almost going to the finals, so, you know, he changed the culture there in Toronto.
[Boi-1da] Maybe I can just make something on the spot.
This is a sample that one of my friends, like, composed.
I would hear this and just be like...
Like, loop it.
I'll just lay this kick down on top of it like so.
That's like a... quick, like, two-second beat.
Coming from Toronto, like, I just felt like the rest of the world, like, wouldn't ever take us seriously, like, whether it's music, whether it's ball.
Like, it was kind of like, you know, like, a-- A dark period.
A guy like Vince definitely gave us hope, like, you know, that it's possible to, like, you know, shine from our city.
This is my second number-one record in the country.
I produced "Work" for Rihanna, and, um, it was... a number one. As you can see here, it says, "Nine weeks at number one on the Hot 100" chart.
This one as well, too, is, um, one of my favorite albums by Drake, and, you know, it means a lot 'cause, um, you know, um... You know, it's--
Drake's my brother and... you know, just to see him, like, constantly topping the chart--
I don't think he's had an album where it wasn't number one on the chart ever, you know, so...
You know, just-- It's just a reminder of--
Of, um, our hard work and what we put into it.
The Toronto Raptors' newly appointed global ambassador:
I travel the world, um, performing, and everywhere I go, uh, I preach the gospel that is Toronto.
I love the city with all my heart.
And I just want to let you know that I'm extremely excited to finally be a part of a team that, uh, I grew up as a fan of, a diehard fan of, of course, I'm sure like everybody else from them city.
I'm here always for the city, for these guys, and thank you very much for your time. I appreciate it.
[Roter] To see, like, Drizzy, you know, courtside.
He's wearing that OVO Raptors jacket.
That's real massive.
It's not massive because he's from Toronto, and he's some local rapper, you know, whatever.
It's massive because he's the world's largest rapper.
[Rose] Hip-hop has now become mainstream and so from that, businesses have smartly embraced rappers because they now see that not only do they have popularity, but they have style.
They have flavor. They have fans.
And they have influence.
So it was only a matter of time to see part owners, whether it was Jay-Z with the Nets, you see Usher with the Cavs.
You see the influence that Drake is now having with the Raptors as an ambassador.
It's only right to now tag those individuals because they love sports, and they can bring in a different audience.
[Drake] You're talking about an NBA franchise under the watch of the commissioner allowing a musician to come in and give ideas to make things more exciting and to make things bigger.
This was one of the most important things as a kid, you know? To have your Slam Magazine, to see what players were wearing off the court.
This is where you really got to see the attitude of basketball, Slam, so... this probably one of the, like, coolest things I ever got to do.
To sort of freeze this moment in time and kind of dress like I own the team or something.
[laughs] It was really cool.
I think that this picture says a lot more than just two guys in a uniform and one guy in a suit. It's...
This is the Carter effect right here, I guess, you know?
It really is, you know. We're, uh... We're breaking the mold.
[Nav Bhata] This is my-- Some of the things from Vince Carter's, uh, time, you know?
And he's the only one which I have kept some stuff with me.
I got his jerseys, his shoes, his pictures and all those things, you know?
They are the little things that I have, but most of his memories is right here in my heart.
In '95, when they announced that the Raptors are coming to Toronto, I was excited and I bought two tickets.
I've never missed a game in 22 years.
I've never been late for a game in 22 years.
I've never left a game early in 22 years.
I don't leave my seats until the referees are gone into the tunnel.
Yes, I love the game, but I also love what the game of basketball is creating... as a culture, all the cultures coming together... in that arena.
We don't have a super fan, we have super fans now.
[Granger] You have this wave of immigration, people from all over the world that came over.
It's just this perfect, kind of, melting of sports and culture and community.
It makes for a really, really special place.
I know when the US broadcasters would come down, and they would see thousands of people outside... [laughs]
...the Air Canada Centre to watch the game on a big screen they can't get into, they were blown away.
[Stern] I'm proud that the team is such an accepted part of the country, that basketball is now embedded in Canada.
I always knew that this population was going to turn to basketball.
I... maybe it's my business so I say that, but, uh, you could see it.
[Doris Burke] LeBron, tonight, you crossed the 30-point margin for the 81st time in your career, but you waited until this game and this playoffs to do it.
You said you would step forward and have a game when you needed to.
Why was it tonight?
[crowd] Let's go Raptors!
First of all, do you hear this?
-[interviewer] I know. They're incredible. -Do you hear this?
Unbelievable respect and much respect to these fans, to this country.
This is unbelievable.
I never been a part of something like this in my 13-year career.
This is special, and they really appreciate what their team did.
[Drake] What if there was no Vince Carter out here?
Would our franchise have moved?
Would we still understand how powerful the city is, what will work, what we're made of?
Would basketball have even developed the way it did?
I guess you just have to ask yourself, "What if..." which people say not to do, but sometimes you have to do to put things in perspective.
♪ Yeah, I let that last line breathe, it take a second to get it ♪
♪ Weston Road flows, my confidence level gettin' settled ♪
♪ Don't get hyped for the moment then start to back peddle ♪
♪ Don't let your new found fame fool you or cloud up your judgement ♪
♪ To talk loosely, I really do this ♪
♪ Been flowin' stupid since Vince Carter was on some through the legs ♪
♪ Arm in the hoop shit ♪
♪ Drinkin' Hpnotiq with Glenn Lewis I been through it ♪
♪ Y'all was so afraid to lay claim to it ♪
♪ Too busy face screwin' on waste movements ♪
♪ You was ridin' TTC metro, I had the place boomin' ♪
♪ First take Drake, you know I rarely have to take two it ♪
♪ And they still take to it ♪
♪ Big Apple had the white Hummer parked right in front of Fluid ♪
♪ And we be walkin' in that bitch like we already knew it ♪
♪ But 'money can't buy happiness', Jelly talkin' truthful ♪
♪ But I'm happiest when I can buy what I want ♪
♪ Get high when I want ♪
♪ Yeah, that's right ♪
♪ Yeah ♪