With the premiere of Vince Carter’s Raptors-centric doc at TIFF this weekend, I needed to share my own VC-Raptors story, mainly, how Vince Carter cost me thousands of Canadian dollars.

Like the rest of the basketball world, I was in awe of his high-flying dunks in those hideous, yet endearing, dino jerseys, but it was the winning that got me to buy-in, literally. The climb was clear. Year 1: A near .500 team that missed the postseason. Year 2: A Slam Dunk contest spectacular and a postseason appearance that ended in a 3-game sweep at the hands of Latrell Sprewell, Larry Johnson, and the Knicks. Year 3? Growing up near Toronto during a franchise-record 47-win season, there was no way I was watching the show from home.

The organization had a deal for their young team– put down a $500 deposit for season seats in the fall, and get access to 2001 playoff tickets before the general public.

I was making that mad shoe money, selling footwear at a Sport Chek in the suburb of Mississauga, and figured Vincent Lamar Carter was worth the investment. Most importantly, it was a tiny investment, which was good because I wasn’t the best shoe seller. My buds and I got a pair of season seats for about $2K. We split the pair four ways, and I split that quarter of a pair with my good friend, Dave Setton. $250 got me in to the building for 10 games.

We saw the dinos’ run in to the second round (the only series win in their first 20 seasons). They lost at the buzzer of Game 7 when Carter missed that jumper from the wing in Philadelphia, and although I was angry Vince took a flight to North Carolina that morning for his graduation, he had sucked me in.

I shared those season seats for 12 mostly dark years. Only reason I stopped was because I moved to Atlanta, but there were many years I was ready to give them up. When the buzzer went off after Game 82 each April, on several occasions, I told myself I was done. But I just couldn’t. It was all Vince’s fault.

Vince Carter cost me thousands of dollars. I don’t regret a thing.