Vince Carter’s curiosity was piqued when he noticed that Terrence Ross’ jersey didn’t match his shorts when the Raptors rookie walked onto the floor for the finals of the slam dunk contest.
Then Carter saw the familiar No. 15 and recognized that Ross was wearing Vinsanity’s old Toronto jersey as a tribute.
“It was weird, but I was honored,” Carter said Monday. “It was great to see that jersey on the floor in that atmosphere of the dunk contest.”
Ross did the jersey proud, catching a pass off the side of the backboard and perfectly executing a windmill dunk while wearing No. 15. Ross dethroned defending dunk champ Jeremy Evans, bringing the title back to Toronto 13 years after Carter won it with a legendary performance.
Ross, who was 9 years old when Carter won the dunk contest, has told reporters that Carter was one of his boyhood idols. Carter reached out to Ross over the weekend to express his appreciation for the tribute.
“I wanted to personally congratulate him and told him I was honored,” Carter said. “I think this is a great opportunity for him because I know what winning the dunk contest did for me. I said the same thing to him. I said, ‘Everywhere you go, when your name is mentioned, it’s mentioned among the dunk champions.’ That’s an honor in itself. That’s something they can’t take away from you.
“That’s how my wonderful ride began. Everybody is excited about the dunk contest and it just gave me confidence.”
Carter won the dunk contest the day before he made the first of his eight consecutive All-Star appearances. Ross, an eighth overall pick averaging 6.4 points per game as a rookie, has a long way to go to approach those heights.
Thats pretty cool. Everyone always remembers VC in the dunk contest, and rightfully so.
Yup. I'm not gonna lie when VC was traded I was pissed like everyone else. Pissed for the way he half assed it on his way out, for the nothingness we got back in return, and pissed for how when he went to NJ he showed up night in night out. Didn't miss a bunch of games due to injury and pretty much resurged for the 2nd half of his career. But the 2000 slam dunk contest was really what put Toronto oni the map. Inarguable top 5 performance ever and cool that Ross decided to pay homage to that.