Vince Carter's Raptors jersey comments draw mixed reaction: 'He's a traitor' to calls to 'retire' his number

Some Raptors fans can't loosen their grip on the past while others want to take the time to celebrate Carter's contributions to the franchise.

TORONTO - MARCH 14:  Vince Carter #15 of the Toronto Raptors rests during the game against the Atlanta Hawks at Air Canada Centre on March 14, 2004 in Toronto, Canada.  The Raptors won 101-84.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)
Vince Carter is widely credited with putting Toronto, and even Canada, on the basketball map. (Credit: Ron Turenne/NBAE via Getty Images)

It's clear that Vince Carter still holds a special place in his heart for the Toronto Raptors.

The former NBA superstar was recently announced as a finalist for the 2024 class of the Basketball Hall of Fame. When asked on the NBA show "Run it Back" which jersey he would hypothetically wear into the Hall of Fame, he quickly answered: "Toronto, Toronto, Toronto. It has to be, it's where it all started."

Unlike the Baseball Hall of Fame, players don't get to choose a team to represent going into the Basketball Hall of Fame. But it is a cool "what if?" question — one that's generated quite a bit of buzz from NBA Twitter, most notably Raptors fans.

Looking back, Carter credits Toronto as the place where he gained his confidence and came to understand the trajectory of his career.

Along with winning the 1998-99 Rookie of the Year award, he's gone on to earn five all-star appearances in his first six seasons with the Raptors. That stretch also includes his infamous Slam Dunk competition performance in 2000.

Carter's association with the franchise comes with some baggage. Many claim he forced his way out of Toronto, resulting in a trade in the 2004-05 season to the New Jersey Nets, as he continued riding the peak of his career.

Nearly 20 years later, Carter's recent comments are spurring quite the reaction.

Many have come to applaud the comments as they reminisce on old times. Some continue to campaign for his No. 15 to be retired in the 6ix — which would mark a first for the Raptors as they enter their 30th NBA season in 2024-25.

Others, however, want nothing to do with Carter, even if he did help place Toronto on the basketball map.

What fans are saying