VC reveals that he tried to convince Shaq to join the Raptors during their prime.
Four-time NBA champion Shaquille O’Neal played for six different teams during his illustrious NBA career, where he played alongside a number of superstar guards including Penny Hardaway, Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade and Steve Nash. According to Vince Carter, things could have been very different.
During an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Jacob Feldman, Carter spoke about how he never really tried to team up with other superstars, except for the time he came “close” to convincing Shaq to join the Toronto Raptors. However, VC says it was a difficult task because The Diesel, like many other stars during that era, didn’t really know what Canada was all about.
“I tried to get Shaq to Toronto. I felt like it was close. It was tough at that time, just because… A lot of guys were like, what’ Canada all about? It was tough to convince players that it’s a great place until they’re actually there. Even me, when I worked out for them, I didn’t really know what they had to offer until I was actually there.”
Carter spent his first 6+ seasons in Toronto before being traded to the New Jersey Nets in December of the 2004 campaign. The end of Carter’s run with the Raptors came right around the time that the Los Angeles Lakers traded Shaq to the Miami Heat, where he won a fourth NBA title alongside D-Wade.