Posts Tagged ‘Vince Carter’

2000 – Tracy McGrady

When Tracy McGrady lost the 2000 slam-dunk contest to Vince Carter, he was not just another victim of Vinsanity. He was the first in what would become a long and proud line of Raptors to lose the NBA’s dunk competition.

McGrady’s dunks are now footnotes to the night that belonged to his cousin, but they were all solid. Had he been in the competition a year later, he may have won with dunks like this one:

2008 – Jamario Moon

As the decade continued, Raptor participation evaporated, despite Toronto’s roster being filled with human highlight reels such as Lamond Murray and Loren Woods. But then, in 2008, Jamario Moon appeared came out of nowhere and started dunking on everybody. The former Globetrotter had the difficult task of being the first dunker in the competition. (Interestingly, McGrady and DeRozan also had to break the ice in their respective years.) But in 2008, Moon broke the ice with a gorgeous dunk:


(Note: The 2008 contest also featured two familiar faces teaming up for this dunk.)

2010-2011 – DeMar DeRozan

Next up was DeMar DeRozan, who turned losing the dunk contest into an art form. He lost to sentimental favourite Nate Robinson in 2010, and returned the next year, only to lose again to the prop-heavy theatrics of Blake Griffin and JaVale McGee. In 2011, rumours circulated that the contest was rigged, and DeRozan swore he was done with the whole thing. Only a Raptor could put together such an impressive repertoire of dunks and come home empty-handed two years running:

2013 – Terrence Ross

After last year’s yawn-fest, the 2013 edition boasts an impressive field of former champions, young stars, and international dunking legends. And right in the middle of all this is Terrence Ross, the only person who will be attending All-Star weekend in a Raptors jersey. Here’s the official Holy Craptors prediction for this year’s contest:

  • Kenneth Faried will finish 6th. A good in-game dunker, I have a hard time seeing how Half-Man/Half-Hair will impress in this one, especially given the competition.
  • Eric Bledsoe will finish 5th. He’s short, but not Spud Webb short. And without Clippers announcer Ralph Lawler making the call, his dunks might not be as impressive.
  • Jeremy Evans will finish 4th. Won it last year, but his closest challenger was Chase Budinger. I’m pretty sure John Lucas could beat Chase Budinger in a dunk contest.
  • Terrence Ross will finish 3rd. But his dunks will be beautiful. Some players just look good dunking. Vince Carter was one; give him a run-of-the-mill dunk, and he’ll make it look good. Something about Ross’ dunking motion is smoother than most players, and not many people outside of Toronto are familiar with his athleticism.
  • James White will finish 2nd, Gerald Green 1st. All eyes will be on these two, who competed in the 2010 Russian league dunk contest, cited by many as the best competition ever to take place outside of the United States. White will be framed as the journeyman, the dunking specialist who, at age 30, is taking his last shot at the spotlight. Green will be framed as the former champ (2007) who has bounced around internationally, and fought his way back to the top.

Never mind that Ross’ dunks will probably be nicer than White’s or Green’s. He will bow out early to give someone else a chance to shine. Because that’s what Raptors do.

Go get ’em, Terrence.

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The New Jersey Nets: One of the NBA's least inspired logos. "Let's see...they play basketball, and they're called the Nets...I know! Let's put a basketball under the word 'Nets'! That'll be sweet!"

Amid all the apologies, promises of great things to come, and general end-of-season hoopla that we’re bound to see at the ACC Thursday evening, many people may overlook the fact that this will be the last game the New Jersey Nets will ever play. The Nets are moving to Brooklyn next year, in the hopes that the “more accessible” location will yield better ticket sales. (I never understood how New Jersey, an hour’s drive from literally tens of millions of people, is inaccessible, but never mind.)

So I think it’s appropriate that we all pause to take a look at the significant role the Raptors have played in the surprisingly boring 36-year history of the New Jersey Nets.

  • November 3, 1995: The Raptors host the Nets at SkyDome in the first Raptors game ever. Toronto wins 94-75, giving the Nets the dubious distinction of being the first team to lose to the Raptors.
  • December 17, 2004: The Raptors trade Vince Carter to the Nets for…well, nothing really.
  • May 4, 2007: The Nets squeak past the Raptors by a point to advance to the second round. It would be the last playoff series the New Jersey Nets would ever win. They haven’t made the playoffs since.
  • March 2011: The Nets and Raptors play the first-ever NBA games in Europe. Predictably, the Raptors lose both.
  • March 14, 2012: Celebrity side-show and former Raptor Kris Humphries grabs a career-high 21 rebounds in Toronto.

And for those who are looking for a reason to get excited about an otherwise meaningless game, consider this: coming into the final game of the season, not only are Toronto and New Jersey tied in the standings at 22-43, but their all-time head-to-head series is locked at 32 wins apiece:

As you can see on NBAuniverse.com, Thursday's Raps-Nets matchup will decide who gets the all-time bragging rights. "Bragging" being a relative term, of course.

That’s right. April 26th is the all-time tie-breaker. 17 years after becoming the first team to ever lose to the Toronto Raptors, can the Nets get revenge and give the Raptors the honour of being the last team ever to lose to the New Jersey Nets?

Buckle your seatbelts, folks. History is about to be made.

Update: The New Jersey Nets managed to lose the game by a shocking score of 98-67. Hey, Jay-Z…that feeling in the pit of your stomach? That’s called “buyer’s remorse”.

 

Remember when Vince Carter’s nickname was “Air Canada”? When night after night he would soar gracefully through the air on the way to another memorable dunk?

Well, Toronto native Jamaal Magloire may have earned himself Carter’s old nickname after last night’s performance.

It was classic Raptors: winning 40-24 at one point, the second half saw them fall apart like a dollar-store calculator. To make matters worse, they had the chance, thanks to some chippy play by the Pacers, to steal a win at the foul line. But a miserable 62% free throw success rate quickly put a stop to any hopes of victory.

The worst free throw misses belonged to Magloire, whose 0-for-2 trip to the line in the video above was the nail in the coffin. Or, if you like, the hammer to the dollar-store calculator. I love how 17 seconds into the video you can almost read coach Casey’s mind: “Oh god. Why did I take this job again?”

Oh, and by the way, the clip above was Magloire’s SECOND free-throw airball of the game.

You’re welcome, Indiana.

Just for a change of pace, the Raptors decided to wear their St. Patrick’s Day green jerseys when playing in Detroit on Wednesday. Never mind that it wasn’t St. Patrick’s Day yet, or that nobody on the Raptors, or possibly in all of Toronto, is Irish. The point is, Raptor fans had the excitement of watching their club lose while wearing a different colour.

This loss was a historic one, as the Raptors are now on a franchise record 14-game road losing streak.

I like how Tracy McGrady is now sporting the same chinstrap-style beard as his cousin and fellow Raptors alum Vince Carter. I also like how McGrady is miles past his prime but still able to dunk on the Raptors’ defense.

But really, Detroit needed this win. It’s been a tough year in Detroit, with the players shunning the coach, an empty arena, and losses piling up…so obviously, the Raptors sensed this, and decided to make them feel better.

You’re welcome, Detroit.

Where Irony Happens

Posted: February 25, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , ,

February 25th was “Basketball North Night” at the ACC in Toronto. During the game against the Phoenix Suns, several important figures in Canadian Basketball history were honoured on the big screen.

Meanwhile, on the court, Canadian Steve Nash became only the seventh player in NBA history to surpass 9000 assists, as the Suns cruised past the Raptors, 110-92. Nash was chosen 15th overall in the 1996 draft. The Raptors had the second pick that year, but rather than doing the patriotic thing and drafting a Canadian future MVP and Hall-of-Famer, they went with Marcus Camby. Nice.

Oh, and his first assist of the game? An alley-oop pass to…you guessed it…Vince Carter.

Through all the ups and downs of the past decade in Raptorland, there has been one overlooked fact: the Raptors were the owners of the longest 3-point streak in NBA history. It started on February 26th, 1999, and from that point on, game after game, year after year, the Toronto Raptors hit at least one 3-pointer in every game.

That streak ended painfully short of 1000 games, 986 to be exact, on January 24th, 2011. And in true Raptor style, they ended it with a bang against the Memphis Grizzlies, when they decided to let Memphis star Rudy Gay have an open look at the last second.

Final score: Memphis 100, Toronto 98.

Watch the video below…the guy holding the camera knew it was coming. His foul language and screams of pain echo throughout the entire Raptor universe.

Can anyone name the player who began the Raptors’ 3-point streak in 1999? Why, it was Vince Carter, of course.