TORONTO - Although he turns 41 in January, Vince Carter isn't closing the door on another NBA season after this one. And on Sunday, after what could have been his final game in Toronto as a member of the visiting Sacramento Kings, he left the door open in a broad way, teasing a potential reunion with the franchise he launched his career with.
"It'll happen I'm sure," Carter said when asked about the Raptors' reported free agency interest last summer. "Somehow, whether it's one day or something, it'll happen. It's supposed to happen I think. I can say that now."
There lies the hook. The "one day" could mean a single-day contract, the kind that many pro sports teams have honoured some of their best players with before retirement.
One thing is for certain: Raptors fans as a collective have softened their stance on Carter in the last few years. When he returned as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies in 2014-15, the majority of fans cheered Toronto's former franchise player following a video tribute. That continued Sunday when fans cheered his surprise inclusion in the Kings' starting lineup and then gave him a standing ovation after he exited with 11 seconds remaining.
"I still don't know," Carter said about whether he'd play next season. "If you're asking me today, I'll say I have one more in me."
Carter finished Sunday's loss to the Raptors with four points, three blocks, two assists, a rebound, and a steal in 25 minutes of action.