Raptors news: Hawks' Vince Carter thankful for farewell season reception
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Hawks’ Vince Carter thankful for how he’s been received during farewell season

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Vince Carter is bound to finish his 22-year career in the NBA donning an Atlanta Hawks uniform, but he will be arguably most remembered for his time in Canada as the face of the Toronto Raptors.

Vinsanity started his career with what was then a fresh expansion franchise, soon putting them on the map as a playoff team and showcasing the jersey colors during the 2000 Slam Dunk Contest, one avid NBA fans will never forget.

While the 42-year-old won’t be taking on the contest in his last season, he cherishes the opportunity to create those memories, ones that will be forever engraved as part of his legendary NBA career.

“I tell you what, I was thankful that I was able to be there and see those guys win,” said Carter, who attended the following dunk contests after winning it in 2000, according to Doug Smith of The Toronto Star. “I remember sitting next to Tracy (McGrady) and thinking, ‘Do you believe what’s about to happen?’ There was like two minutes left, and it was like, ‘Dude, this is unreal.’”

Carter has been welcomed with warmth by every NBA arena, gestures that haven’t gone unnoticed by the soon-to-be Hall of Famer.

“Thankful, most of all,” Carter said of the treatment in road venues. “And I say that because I was an opponent for 22 years for most of these teams and obviously these are great organizations that are class acts and for them to do that is great.

“I just enjoy playing the game regardless of being an opponent of these different organizations … regardless, it’s a brotherhood, it’s a small community and it makes for an emotional roller coaster.”

Carter is averaging the fewest points (4.9 per game) and minutes (15.3) of his NBA career, but he is cherishing contributing to the Hawks as a mentor and a veteran presence — leaving a mark for more than simply his great accomplishments, but as a teacher as well.