Reports emerged earlier this week indicating that the Toronto Raptors might be interested in signing Vince Carter during the off-season. Carter, who is 37-years-old and will be an unrestricted free agent this summer, still has some popularity in Canada despite his unceremonious exit from the team in 2004. His return to the Raptors, presumably to help guide the team to a long postseason run, would make for a remarkable redemption story -- and one that I'd like to see transpire.
With this in mind, I decided to put together a list of other sports reunions that I'd like to see happen (but probably won't).
LeBron James signs with the Cleveland Cavaliers
I'll start with this one since it's the most obvious. By my estimation, LeBron James deciding to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers would be the most interesting sports story of the decade.
Why it might happen: Since his departure, the Cavs have stock-piled a bevy of young talent that would probably benefit greatly from James' presence. James left Cleveland because he wanted to play for a contender. A LeBron-led Cleveland team would immediately become a legitimate title contender, and James would have the quality supporting cast that he lacked during his first go-around with the Cavs.
BUT: Heat owner Micky Arison recently said that there's a 100 percent chance of the big three staying in Miami. Chris Bosh also indicated that LeBron would be back with the Heat. And LeBron himself said in February that he can't imagine leaving Miami. In short, the smart money is probably betting on him staying with the Heat.
David Beckham returns to Manchester United (in any capacity)
The prodigal son of the legendary soccer franchise, David Beckham returning to Manchester United -- whether it be as a player, coach, owner or janitor -- would be front page news worldwide.
Why it might happen: Beckham is so beloved in the country that it's difficult to imagine him not returning to Man U at some point. Last year, when asked if he would one day be an ambassador of the franchise, Beckham said, "I’m sure that will happen in some way.”
BUT: As of now the timing isn't right for Beckham as he seems to have committed himself to living stateside. Just this year he announced that he will be the owner of a new MLS expansion franchise in Miami. With that responsibility on his plate, it's difficult to picture him making a meaningful return to Wembley in foreseeable future.
Erin Andrews returns to College GameDay
Saturday's in the fall just haven't been the same since Andrews left College GameDay for Fox Sports, so it's easy to imagine the college football world being very receptive to Andrews returning to ESPN to rejoin the network's most beloved franchise.
Why it might happen: Fox Sports 1 hasn't fully developed into the viable alternative to ESPN that many thought (or more likely, hoped) it would be. It would seem that Andrews still has a good relationship with Disney, the company that owns ABC, given that she was recently brought on a co-host Dancing With The Stars. If things went very south at FS1, it's not completely unreasonable to assume Andrews would attempt to jump ship to ESPN.
BUT: As Deadspin has reported, ESPN wasn't trying too hard to keep Andrews when her contract expired in 2012 and wasn't particularly keen on giving her an expanded role. That of course could change with time, but it's likely Andrews might prefer being the face of FS1's college football coverage as opposed to a side act on GameDay.
Steve Spurrier to Florida
The Old Ball Coach has transformed South Carolina from SEC doormat to perennial contender in his nearly decade-long reign in Columbia. But he won a Heisman Trophy at Florida in 1966 and coached the team to a national championship 30 years later. With the Gators coming off a 4-8 season, you'd probably be hard-pressed to find anybody in Gainesville who wouldn't at least be intrigued by the possibility of Spurrier returning home.
Why it might happen: Will Muschamp might be on the hottest seat in college football -- if the Gators get off to another slow start, it's not unrealistic to believe he might be fired before the end of the season. Spurrier still recruits the state of Florida well at South Carolina and the Gamecocks program has only grown stronger the longer he's been there. There's little question that even at 69-years-old, The Old Ball Coach still have some good coaching years left in him.
BUT: Spurrier just got a $700,000 raise at South Carolina and straight up told Andy Staples "I don't want to go anywhere else," just last week.
Tiger Woods and Steve Williams reunite
Following a very public split in 2011, Tiger Woods' fortunes haven't greatly improved on the golf course. Williams, who served as a groomsman at Woods' wedding, made headlines when he called Adam Scott's 2011 Bridgestone Invitational victory the "best win of my career," which was a particularly bold statement from a man who had caddied three of Woods' four Masters victories. A reunion between the two would likely be one of the bigger stories to occur in the golf world in some time.
Why it might happen: Williams has said that he will withdraw as Adam Scott's caddie at the end of 2014, which would free him up to seek out a new golfer...
BUT: In March, Williams indicated that the hatchet still wasn't buried between him and Tiger. Their breakup was very public, and it seems that Williams still feels jilted, so it's difficult to imagine a scenario in which the two reunite at this point.
John Tortorella returns to the Rangers
Why it might happen: It won't. Why in the hell would this happen?
BUT: Not but's. This won't ever happen.
Seattle gets the SuperSonics back
The SuperSonics were cultural hallmark of the 90s, featuring stars such as Gary Payton and the incomparably named Detlef Schrempf. Since the questionable removal of the team, fans in the city have been pushing to get another franchise in Seattle. The return of NBA basketball to the Emerald City only seems fitting given the deep-seated fandom that exists there.
Why it might happen: The interest (and more importantly, money) is there to make this happen. After near-miss last May to move the Kings to Seattle (NBA owners rejected the deal, which would have sold a majority stake in the franchise to a Seattle-based group that planned to move to the team), Chris Hansen (no, not that Chris Hansen), who leads the group of investors hoping to move the team has said they are just "waiting for the right opportunity."
BUT: Even if the money is there, moving a team to a different city is no easy task, as Hansen has learned during failed pursuits of the Kings and the Bucks. Expansion might be the route to go, but Adam Silver has indicated that the NBA has no immediate plans to add more teams (although he added that Seattle "should have hope" for an NBA team).
Diana Taurasi returns to Connecticut
It would only seem fitting if Diana Taurasi, a UConn alum and one of the most decorated women's basketball players ever, finished her career with the WNBA's Sun based in Connecticut, where she's still revered as a hero.
Why it might happen: A return to Connecticut would be a boon for the league as well as the Sun, whose attendance has stagnated in recent years.
BUT: Taurasi has spent the entirety of her WNBA career in Phoenix and iscurrently under contract there for an undisclosed length of time. At this juncture, there's no tangible reason to believe that a move to Connecticut is imminent.
Michael Vick ends his career with the Falcons
Although he hasn't suited up for the team since 2006, it's still bizarre to see Vick wearing anything other than a Falcons jersey. The two sides have moved on since their much-publicized split, but make no mistake, the city of Atlanta would happily dust off their #7 jerseys if Vick were to return.
Why it might happen:
Maybe later in my career RT @Champ_1021: @MikeVick if you had a chance would you go back to Atlanta?— Mike Vick (@MikeVick) January 12, 2014
BUT: It wouldn't be a surprise if the organization felt that Vick's presence would be more of a distraction than a help. The team is already set at quarterback with Matt Ryan. Beyond that, unlike Nick Foles and Geno Smith, Ryan -- as well as his fellow skill position players -- don't really need to have the veteran mentorship that Vick could provide. It would certainly make for a nice story, but on a personnel level, the move doesn't really make much sense for the team.
Albert Pujols returns to St. Louis
Prince Albert accepted a king's ransom to move to Anaheim, but since signing that fat contract, neither the Angels or Pujols have necessarily thrived. It would only be fitting if the best player of his generation ended his career in the city where it began.
Why it might happen: With a backloaded contract that doesn't expire until 2021, it's honestly difficult to imagine a scenario in which Pujols dons a Cardinals jersey again beyond if he were to sign a ceremonial 1-day contract with the team before he retires. The Cardinals are a smart organization, and taking on a contract as large as Pujols' as his skills diminish wouldn't be a very smart move.
BUT: He won three MVP trophies in St. Louis and two World Series. He has nothing left to prove in The Lou, so let's just sit back and marvel once again at the time he crushed the dreams of Astros fans everywhere:
Tony Dungy returns to the NFL to coach Peyton Manning
Of all the projected reunions listed, this one is probably my favorite. I've been a fan of the Houston Texans since their inception and as a result was always programmed to hate Peyton Manning, Tony Dungy and their always so-damn-good-it's-friggin-infuriating Colts teams. While a reunion in Indianapolis doesn't seem quite appropriate -- Manning got his closure there and the franchise is in good hands with Andrew Luck -- it would be nice to see Dungy and Manning make a run together at one last Super Bowl -- possibly in Denver?
Why it might happen: After an embarrassing Super Bowl showing in which his team appeared to be sleepwalking, John Fox might be on a relatively hot seat in Denver this season. If Dungy expressed interest, it's not difficult to imagine the Broncos brass seriously considering giving him the job while Peyton still has productive football left in him.
BUT: It's not apparent that Dungy has interest unfortunately, as indicated by this tweet he sent last December, which doesn't leave too much room for interpretation:
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