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Vince Carter Reveals He Tried To Recruit Shaquille O'Neal To Raptors, 'Felt It Was Close'

Credit: Getty Images

Credit: Getty Images

Atlanta Hawks veteran Vince Carter says that back in his days, it wasn’t a common practice to recruit players, but it still happened, though. Carter himself was in that position during his time with the Toronto Raptors, as he once tried to recruit none other than Shaquille O’Neal to Canada.

"The only time I can recall is I tried to get Shaq to Toronto," Carter told SI's Jacob Feldman. "I felt like it was close. It was tough at the time, just because ... a lot of guys were like, 'What’s Canada about?' It was tough to convince players that it's a great place until they're actually there."

Shaq wasn't a free agent during Carter’s prime with Toronto, where he played from 1998 to 2004, so one could imagine the future Hall of Famer tried to recruit the big man after his latter demanded a trade away from Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers ahead of the 2004/05 season.

Ultimately, the Lakers sent O'Neal to the Miami Heat that summer for Lamar Odom, Caron Butler, Brian Grant, and two draft picks. Six months later, the Raptors would do the same with Carter, sending him to the New Jersey Nets for three players and two picks in a trade that's still widely considered one of the worst in sports history.

At this moment, Carter, an eight-time All-Star, is entering his 22nd and self-professed final NBA season at the age of 42.

What could have happened if these two legends joined forces? We'll never know.