Toronto Raptors great Kyle Lowry tried to recruit another franchise star back to the team during his tenure: eight-time All-Star Vince Carter.
“We tried to get it done. … I was one of the biggest advocates of trying to get him back in Toronto,” Lowry said on “The VC Show with Vince Carter.”
Carter played in Toronto for seven seasons, helping the franchise reach notoriety with his iconic Slam Dunk contest performance in 2000. He led the Raptors to three straight playoff appearances from 1999-2002, but the team couldn’t make it past the second round.
“Vince was all in. If you people didn’t think that Vince was all in coming back to Toronto, it’s bogus,” Lowry added.
Lowry played with the Raptors from 2012-21, leading the team to the postseason in seven straight seasons. During that stretch, Carter bounced around the league as a journeyman, playing for the Dallas Mavericks, Memphis Grizzlies, Sacramento Kings, and Atlanta Hawks.
Toronto failed to make it further than the Eastern Conference finals for five consecutive seasons before making wholesale changes to the franchise before the 2018-19 campaign, leading to the first championship in team history. The Raptors let go of Coach of the Year Dwane Casey for assistant Nick Nurse and traded DeMar DeRozan, Jakob Poeltl, and a first-round pick for Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green.
Carter retired from basketball the following season, and the Miami Heat acquired Lowry in a sign-and-trade from Toronto last offseason. Both players rank in the top five for total points and minutes played in Raptors franchise history.