“I want to be a basketball player when I grow up.” That line is famous amidst the young generations of double dribblers. Think of that free throw trophy still shining (of dust) in your childhood bedroom and laugh at the familiar nostalgia.
We all have our ‘bigger than Shaq’ childhood dreams, whether it be basketball or other Hollywood-like highs. At 4’9″, wearing Jordan’s and a too-big-for-you Magic jersey, the sun slowly set on the basketball court behind your elementary school as you held your chest out, surrounded by challenges, like you were 7’1″. With your team down by a point and the championship on the line, you’d have to deal with the consequences of missing curfew. This was your time, man, this was your time…
The incredible crew from the behind the scenes show Open Gym always take us into some unknown nostalgia within the current Raptors roster. In the brand new episode we are welcomed into a scene where Kyle Lowry is getting a fresh cut from his childhood barber. He’s at home, he’s in Philly and he speaks of his ‘bigger than Shaq’ childhood dreams. He speaks of the basketball moments he remembers. In particular, the Toronto Raptors and Philadelphia 76ers playoff matchup on May 11th, 2001. It was Game Three on Raptors turf. Kyle was 15 and Vince Carter drained 50.
Back and forth was the momentum between two of the league’s young superstars, Vince Carter and Allen Iverson. It was the Eastern Conference semi-finals. Carter didn’t let Iverson’s 54 points in Game Two fade away with the final buzzer. He rode the see-saw and took it as a challenge for Game Three.
Vince scored 50 pts in a blowout; 102-78.
Vince knocked down nine 3’s, eight of them consecutively in
the first half, setting two NBA playoff records.
Vince was the 16th player to reach 50 points in a postseason game at the age of 24.
Kyle had eyes of awe for this series as a young baller with big dreams. Years later, Vince still stands in the playoff record books. And Kyle, even though on Iverson’s side at the time, now reps the claw.
Funny how life works out.