In 1995 the NBA decided to add a new team into the league. This new team was gonna be from Canada, they were called the Toronto Raptors. This was a really interesting decision by the Nation Basketball Association because Canada was not a big basketball playing country, their sport was ice hockey. This meant for a few years the Toronto Raptors weren’t a popular team in Canada or even America, many people in Canada wouldn’t even watch basketball or play basketball. Parents would sign their kids up for hockey, not basketball. This meant it was going take a while for basketball to take off in Canada. For the next two years since the Raptors joined the NBA, they had been struggling a lot. This meant that over the next few years they would be able to be in the lottery to gain high draft picks and put the future of their franchise in young
In the 1997 NBA draft, the Toronto Raptors picked a young basketball phenom, Tracy McGrady with 6th pick straight out of high school. This would be a very important part of the evolution in basketball for Toronto. This is because of an event in open gym that summer where Tracy McGrady found out that he was cousins with Toronto’s soon to be superstar player. This would help the well developed collegiate star in his decision wanting to go to Toronto if he was available for them to pick him. This was a big step for Toronto because no free agents and draft players have wanted to go to Canada, it’s cold, there’s snow everywhere and wasn’t a popular place to most basketball players. In the 1998 NBA Draft, The Toronto Raptors picked Antwan Jamison with the fourth pick overall………. and with the fifth pick, the Golden state warriors picked Vince Carter. The confusion was felt between the Jamison and Carter families and they were sure that they were going to the opposite Franchise. They were later relieved when they found out they were going to be traded back to the franchises they were told they were going to.
Vince Carter was 6’6, 208-pound shooting guard / small forward as he came into the NBA. In college, his freshman year he came in from high school mostly as an athletic freak who could out leap anyone with the tools to become an offensive superstar. These skills would show during his three-year stint and improve where he started showing more potential to be someone’s franchise player. He was compared to the great Michael Jordan and called Jordan esk with the same offensive skills but Vince had a three-point shot. Despite coming into the league with a wider range of offensive skill, Vince lacked the defensive hustle due to his small wingspan and slite lack of effort, but for an unpopular franchise looking for attention, it wasn’t gonna be a big problem. His pure offensive game and high flying dunks were going to bring large numbers of fans from all over Canada and even America.
Before entering the NBA Vince Carters high flying dunks he displayed playing for North Carolina he earned himself a shoe endorsement from Puma. Puma hadn’t been getting a lot of attention on the basketball stage so they thought to have Vince Carter on contract it would mean they could reinvent them self. Immediately after several games, Vince showed the league he was a very talented leaper and physiqued up the crowds in Toronto, to most people it was out of nowhere and it earned his new shoes the name ‘Vinsanity,’ after a sports commentator was in ore with a dunk he had done.