Vince Carter - Picked Fifth Overall In Nba Draft
Picked Fifth Overall in NBA Draft
Carter was picked fifth overall in the first round of the 1998 NBA draft by California's Golden State Warriors and traded almost immediately to the Toronto Raptors for Antawn Jamison, his former teammate at North Carolina. Although his debut with the Raptors was delayed by a players' strike, his presence seemed to energize the young franchise, which for the first time made a serious challenge for a playoff berth. He also worked to promote not just his team but basketball in general with multiple appearances on ESPN and other sports programming. This was particularly apparent in Canada where interest in professional basketball-and ticket sales-jumped dramatically. Carter's rookie card sold for as much as $10, and sports stores found it almost impossible to keep Carter's number 15 jersey in stock. In an interview with Michael Farber of Sports Illustrated, Carter expressed surprise at his impact on the city of Toronto and the NBA. "I didn't plan for it to be this way. My goal was to fit in, gradually work my way to being an impact player. My whole scheme fell through from Day One."
During the 1999-2000 season, Carter's second season with the Raptors, he improved his scoring average to 25.7 points per game from 18.3 points per game in his rookie season. Thanks to his electrifying style of play and spectacular slam dunks, Carter found himself increasingly compared to then-retired NBA superstar Michael Jordan. Many touted Carter as the player most likely to succeed Jordan as the star of professional basketball. Although such comparisons were pleasing to Carter in some ways, they also created a sense of pressure he could have lived without. As his mother told Mike Wise of the New York Times, "the Michael Jordan comparison is something he's been dealing with since high school. On the one hand, it's very flattering. You can't overlook the similarities. By the same token, it gets a little old, too. Vince gets tired of hearing it."