They loved him while he was making a name for himself, putting up points in bunches, leading Canada's NBA representative to the postseason and winning dunk contests.
Now they hate him.
But even though Carter quit on the Raptors, suffered through one injury after another and was eventually benched during crucial situations in the midst of his prime before he was eventually traded to the New Jersey Nets, Terrence Ross still has a soft spot in his heart for the former Toronto standout.
When the second-year swingman was asked during a serious of questions on Reddit—as relayed by William Lou of RaptorsRepublic, an ESPN TrueHoop affiliate—about whether or not the franchise should retire Vinsanity's number, he gave a rather definitive answer: "Honestly, YES! they [sic] should retire his jersey simply because he put toronto [sic] on the map. he [sic] did a lot for this city and this franchise, so STOP BOOING HIM!"
There are many worthwhile responses scattered throughout the session, but this is the one that should be of the most interest to fans of the franchise.
Retiring Carter's jersey would certainly be a controversial decision, even if he really is the one who put Toronto on the map as a basketball city. The artist formerly known as "Air Canada" was a truly dominant entertainer, and he'd be a lock for the rafters if it weren't for the spat at the end of his tenure.
Now he's part of a yearly debate, as the Raptors have yet to retire any jersey, much less his. Here's Trey Kerby of NBA TV's The Starters on the conundrum:
'Tis only once a year that Raptors fans truly debate the merits of Vince Carter’s stint in Toronto and whether or not he should be the first Raptor ever to have his jersey retired, and since last night’s visit by the Mavericks means that time is upon this, bask in the glory of some die-hard Raptor fans trying to crack this riddle. On one hand, there was that whole 'quitting on the team' thing there are the end. But on the other hand, Vince is the best player in franchise history AND the man who made the Raptors the coolest they’ve ever been (sorry, Drake)(not really). It’s a toughie.
I'm admittedly on the fence.
Should Vince Carter's jersey be retired by the Toronto Raptors?
Both sides of the argument make sense, but I'd lean ever so slightly toward keeping him out of the ring of fame until another player is recognized. Ideally one who actually made nothing but positive contributions to the Toronto cause and didn't leave fans/the entire city with a bitter taste in their collective mouth. Maybe Chris Bosh?
But as for the second portion of Ross' response, that's far easier.
Raptors faithful should cease booing the former superstar, as the statute of limitations for his crime came and went years ago.
At this point, it's just a little bit ridiculous.