Can you believe it? Vince Carter turns 40 years old today.
Although he left the Toronto Raptors in 2004 and has had many stints with other NBA teams, he will ALWAYS be a Raptor as far as Toronto is concerned. For more than seven seasons starting in 1998, “Vinsanity” became the heartbeat of the Toronto Raptors. He’s arguably the best player to wear a Raptors jersey.
Being 40 years-old and still active in the NBA, there have been MANY moments for Carter that stand out in his career but we are going to focus on his most memorable moments as a Toronto Raptor.
1. 51-point performance on NBC
On February 27th, 2000, Vince Carter had the performance for the ages when he had a career-high 51 points against the Phoenix Suns. This performance is still a franchise record for most points scored in a game by a Toronto Raptor. Carter would then repeat his career high points performance years later as a member of the New Jersey Nets.
Air Carter: Rookie of The Year
In a short 50 game season in 1999 due to a NBA Lockout, This was the year where “Vinsanity” was born. As a rookie Carter started almost every single game and was able to average 18.3 PPG which led to him winning the NBA Rookie of The Year award.
This was the first time that Toronto was exposed to Air Carter. Not many games but So many dunks!
2. 9 Three Pointers in the PLAYOFFS
In a playoff series often known as the “Duel” Vince Carter squared off against Allen Iverson and the 76ERS in the 2001 Eastern Conference Finals. Despite the 76ers moving on and beating the Raptors to advance, Carter would have one of the most impressive playoff performances in game 3 with 50 points and 34 in the first half! Did I also mention that in this first half he made 8 out of 9 three pointers?! He would add another in the second half to make nine for the game.
Here are some highlights from this Game Three duel:
3. Slam dunk king
It’s safe to say that Vince Carter will go down in history as one of the best (if not the best) slam dunk artists of all-time.
One of the best spectacles in sports was the 2000 NBA Slam Dunk Contest when Carter DOMINATED the competition, showcasing his creativity and athleticism with many dunks that got people off their feet.
Most notable was his between the leg dunk which had him utter “it’s over” at the camera immediately following the dunk.
4. VC vs The Raptor
This is a moment that didn’t happen during a game but it is too nostalgic not to share.
Remember when Vince Carter went one on one with a CGI heavy Raptor? This was a Gatorade commercial airing in 2000 promoting the new line of Gatorade “Fierce” which concludes with the Raptor two hand dunking over Carter, making him say “I think I am going to need more Fierce.”
Happy Birthday Vince Carter! Not sure if you are trying to compete with Jaromir Jagr in terms of going on until you are 50 but I do not think anyone would be opposed to seeing that. You have given us amazing moments as a Toronto Raptor on and off the court and we will never forget them.
Oh yeah, we will also never forget your cameo in Like Mike starring Lil Bow Wow….