Atlanta Hawks guard, Vince Carter, made his potential final visit to the city that he called home for so many seasons.
The soon to be 42-year-old came into Toronto on Tuesday night to take on his former team once again. In what could have been his last appearance playing in the city and the country that he helped change the culture of basketball forever.
Carter played in just over 13 minutes of action, recording six points, one steal, and one rebound. While those numbers aren't eye-popping, he did shoot two-of-five from the three-point line, resulting in those six points.
Raptors fans give Vince Carter a standing ovation when he checks in and he nails a three 👏 pic.twitter.com/sPpU6tk8Jl— Athlete Swag (@AthleteSwag) January 9, 2019
While the eight-time All-Star hasn't officially announced that this will be his final season. Raptors' fans treated him like it could have been the last time they would ever be able to see him on the court.
The time that Carter spent with the Raptors is one of the reasons why basketball has grown so large over the years in Canada. Before he came along, no one really took basketball in Canada seriously.
Carter spent seven seasons with the Raptors before being traded to the New Jersey (now New York) Nets during the 2004/05 season. Despite being above 40-years-old, he has still been able to be an effective role player for teams.
Over the last five seasons, Carter has been utilized as a mentor for younger players. Whether it's been with the Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, or the Atlanta Hawks, he has been used to teach these young players how to play the game correctly.
Carter also spoke to the media before his game against the Raptors, that had his Hawks fall to them 104 to 101. He spoke about how he still has the goal to win a championship despite being 41-years-old.
If he plans to win one with the Hawks, then he might have to play till he's 50-years-old. However, he could either be dealt to a contender at the trade deadline or sign with a contending team this off-season, if he decides to continue playing.
Yet, if Carter does decide to retire at the end of this season, then he received the farewell from his second home that he definitely deserved, and that he will cherish for many years to come.
What This Means
Carter's return to Toronto was a very emotional one for fans all across Canada. It could have been the final time that we ever see him playing back where he belongs. The legacy that he created with the Raptors will always be remembered.
He did so much for not only the Raptors but for Canada in the way of inspiring young fans to want to play basketball, which is why it has been so special to be able to watch him come home and play in the city where he grew up in, for so many seasons, even after he left the Raptors.