It’s hard to consider two teams rivals when they have no discernible provincial rivalry geographically, they have only met once in the playoffs — in the first round, no less — and they share a grand total of zero NBA titles.
But the New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets and Toronto Raptors are rivals of sorts, and it dates back to December 17, 2004, at 5:12 PM, according to Vince Carter himself (fast forward to around 4:30 in the video), when the Raptors first legitimate franchise player, Vince Carter, was traded to the Nets.
The trade created the big three of Jason Kidd, Richard Jefferson and Vince Carter for the Nets, and a vociferous hatred of “half-man/half a game Carter” for Raptors fans even to this day. Vince didn’t help his case when he admitted he had dogged it in Toronto. The hate-hate relationship between VC and Raptors fans lead to random games in November that ended in OT like this:
With that in mind, let’s take a trip back to 2007 for a rewind, then through the four games the Nets & Raptors have played this season.