DALLAS -- For various reasons, tonight's game between the Dallas Mavericks and Toronto Raptors will be personal for Vince Carter and Jose Calderon.
Although they never played on the same team together until this year with the Mavs, the careers of Carter and Calderon both started with the Raptors. Carter, in fact, was the dynamic player who helped put the NBA on the map in Toronto as his collection of gravity-defying dunks and sky-walking shots mesmerized fans throughout Canada and the United States.
"A couple of friends sent me an old picture of me from when I won Rookie of the Year, and just looking at me then, no faical hair, just young,'' Carter said after Friday's shootaround. "You just remember all the times going through that, the memories, big games, big losses.
"You just always think of all that regardless of if you’re 12 or 14 years later. It all still means the same.''
Carter played for Toronto from 1998-2004. During that time he was the NBA's Rookie of the Year in 1999, the Slam Dunk Champion in 2000, second-team all-NBA in 2001, and a five-time All-Star from 2000-'04.
Meanwhile, Calderon played for the Raptors from 2005 until about 11 months ago when they traded him to Detroit on Jan. 30.
Thus, when the Mavs (15-10) face the Raptors (9-14) at 7:30 tonight at American Airlines Center, there's a good chance Carter and Calderon will be taking a few mental steps down memory lane.
"It's always going to be a little bit of a different kind of game for me after all those years in Toronto,'' Calderon said. "I saw some of the staff members, so it was nice and fun -- it was a great time.
"Yesterday I was trying to get a list to see who is kind of familar. But it's not a lot of guys (he played with).''
Every now and then Carter and Calderon will get together and share old Toronto stories and reminence about the good old days of being a Raptor.
"When we first got here we just talked about different things, situations, places we've been,'' Carter said. "It was funny to kind of hear him talk about it and the great memories for him.
"We both shared some good times.''
-- Dwain Price
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