DALLAS -- If the offer ever came from the front office, Vince Carter wouldn't mind if one day the Toronto Raptors retired his jersey.
He also wouldn't mind one day returning to Toronto and ending his career with the Raptors.
Carter was the No. 5 overall pick of the 1998 draft and played for the Raptors from '98 until they traded him to the New Jersey Nets on Dec. 17, 2004. Now in his second season with the Dallas Mavericks, Carter still holds several Raptors records, and also will go down in history as the person who scored the very first basket in the Air Canada Centre.
In reminiscing back to his days playing with the Raptors, Carter said: "I was just a kid finding my way trying to prove that I belonged in this league and I deserved to have an opportunity for Rookie of the Year.
"When I got there they weren't talking about the guy that the Raptors drafted, so I had to prove it. I had a lot of guys in my corner and I had a magical six years from there.''
Carter's nickname, Vinsanity, took shape while he was with the Raptors. Also, four of his eight NBA All-Star game appearances came while he played for Toronto.
"Winning the Rookie of the Year, winning the dunk contest, winning the first playoff game (for the Raptors), winning the first playoff series, you can't take that back,'' Carter said. "And that's where it all started for me.
"Whatever I accomplish from here, it had to all start from somewhere. Just like we all started from somewhere, we all remember our first.''
As the Mavs prepare to entertain the Raptors tonight at 7:30 at American Airlines Center, Carter also said he wouldn't mind his career going full circle so he could play against for Toronto and retire a Raptor.
"If the opportunity presents itself,'' the 35-year old Carter said. "You talk about playing basketball, I would love to play there.
"I know the court, I know my way around, so I'd feel comfortable, for sure.''
-- Dwain Price
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