Nash cheered but Carter gets rough reception in Canada

Fri Feb 25, 2011 11:23pm EST
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By Steve Keating

TORONTO (Reuters) - Steve Nash and Vince Carter, a Canadian hero and public enemy respectively, joined forces on Friday to lead the Phoenix Suns to a crushing 110-92 over the Toronto Raptors.

Nash, the greatest basketball player Canada has ever produced, returned home to wild cheers while Carter, once the toast of Toronto, was mercilessly showered with boos by the fans he deserted almost six years ago.

When Carter, who had 17 points in the win, was introduced, the ACC rafters rattled with boos, then when Nash followed him into the spotlight and the building rang with cheers.

"It's always fun to be back, I enjoy playing here this is where it started for me," said Carter. "It's like home, you remember all the spots on the floor that were good for you.

"What's a boo? How can you hate me? What did I do? It's just the nature of sports."

The comparison between Nash and Carter is stark.

Carter, a player who never quite lived up to his immense potential and Nash, a player who exceeded everyone's expectations but his own.

An unknown mop-topped, soccer-loving kid from a country that produces hockey players, Nash defied all odds, constructing what is almost certain to be a Hall of Fame career, highlighted by back-to-back most valuable player awards in 2005 and 2006.   Continued...

<p>Phoenix Suns Steve Nash passes the ball off around Toronto Raptors Amir Johnson (L), Jerryd Bayless (back), and James Johnson (R) during the first half of their NBA basketball game in Toronto February 25, 2011. REUTERS/Mark Blinch</p>