I am loved, this I know. I feel bad for all those girls dancing on stages at mediocre GTA clubs, or the ones volunteering for wet tshirt contests in Cancun. Something about a wet tshirt contest screams, “I have Daddy Issues” a little too loud and clear for me. Anyways, I am loved and fortunately I have never been that hurt even. I was never heartbroken by my high school sweetheart, and my date for prom didn’t stand me up. He did kiss another girl that night, but she’s still the best decision he’s ever made.
Anyway, the point is, there is no reason for me to have commitment issues. Most people have had a few healthy relationships by the ripe age of 24 and they are increasingly open to the idea of committing themselves to someone else.
Well, I’m not most people.
I’ve never been in a full blown, let’s go to each other’s family’s Christmases, do laundry together, say we instead of I, relationship. Why? Because a famous athlete gave me Daddy Issues. By Daddy Issues, I mean trust problems, commitment issues, and a skeptical outlook whenever a new guy approaches me. Actually.
You see, I lied. I did have one boyfriend. Well, kind of.
In 1998, in the midst of my fat stage (like, we’re talking REAL big), Vince Carter was drafted by The Toronto Raptors (okay fine, technically he was drafted to the Warriors but traded to the Raptors). Being the little basketball player that I was and loving the Raptors, the young phenom quickly made his way to the top of my
fake boyfriend list beating out Freddie Prince Jr and JTT. Tough line up.
Carter was my favourite. You know they say you have a moment when you just know the person is right for you? It was the 2000 dunk competition and Carter being the explosive player he was put on a highlight reel of dunks that still is looked at as one of the best dunk competitions ever. Anyways, somehwere between the first reverse 360 windmill and the bounced ally-oop pass to the between the legs slam, I knew I was in love.
I bought all his jerseys. The Raptors changed their jersey’s three times during Carter’s time with them and I willingly bought every one of them. Okay, my dad bought me two and Santa brought me the other, but I was only 10 so what do you expect? Point is, I was committed. I loved Vince and his unapologetic swag. I loved that he would get mad and play with a look in his eye that told you he wasn’t about to stop. In the 2000/01 season, he was averaging 27 ppg. He was on track to take the Raptors all the way to the championship.
That year the Toronto Raptors made the playoffs. We beat the
Spike Lee’s New York Knicks in the first round and advanced to meet the Answer himself, Iverson, in the second round of the Eastern Conference Playoffs. Well, it was a battle that stretched 7 games. I was exhausted after watching every game feeling like I played it with the team. In Game Seven (my favourite two words in the English language) my beloved Vince had a shot to win it. Down 88-87 and with just enough time on the clock to make one more play, the Raptors headed down the court and Vince let a shot fly right at the buzzer.
Back rim and out.
I was stunned. He had let me down. I wasn’t ready for this. Was this when I was supposed to get a tub of ice cream? I had even gotten tickets to game four of the next round. I was ecstatic. Until, there was no next round. There was no us. Vince had let me down. Of course he didn’t mean to miss the shot, but he should have made it. It was there.
I remember that being the beginning of the end. I still wore my red and white And 1 basketball shoes with pride and the dunk competition poster still hung proudly on my door, but as an emotional 21st Century rapper would say a little over a decade later, nothing was the same. It was if he had stopped trying. He signed a contract extension for six years in the summer between the 2001/02 season but it just didn’t feel right anymore.
The following year was riddled with injuries for Carter as he only played in 60 games, and although voted to the All Star game couldn’t participate due to injury. He had given up on Toronto. He had given up on me. Do you know what that does to a young girl with about 30 lbs to spare? Nothing good besides maybe a fourth hot dog at lunch to numb the pain. Vince sat on the bench for the majority of the season saying he had this or that injury. I remember a pinky finger being sprained at one point. Really? A pinky finger? The next year was no different and by this point Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment had had enough of their pouty all star with diva like demands.
He was breaking up with me. He was leaving me for some ho in New Jersey and there was nothing I could do about it. I tried so hard. I supported him (see: posters, jerseys, shoes etc) and yet, he couldn’t even push through a sprained pinky to come off the bench.
This is where it happened. This is where the Daddy Issues began. The lack of communication (okay, this was difficult since he didn’t know we were together, but still), emotional instability, and lack of compassion for others made me realize that the player I loved would never be my go-to player in NBA or my favourite jersey I wore with pride because he was a lazy shithead.
I’ve since moved on and currently enjoy another rather one-sided relationship with Kobe Bryant (he shot and MADE two free throws with a torn achilles heel- figure that one out, Mr. Spained Pinky/Jumper’s Knee), but no one forgets their first true love. Every once in awhile, like a school girl opening a memory box, I’ll go back and watch clips of the 2000 Dunk Competition, the dunk over Weiss in the USA/France game and sometimes just other highlight video some lost soul from Little Rock, Arkansas has thrown together for my amusement (Thanks!).
So thanks, Vince. I’ve become even less trusting of the male species ever since you left and I’m going to be single forever. Great.