ACC is ready, just in case

MIKE ZEISBERGER -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 7:58 AM ET

Vindictiveness toward Vinsanity?

Even the movers and shakers at Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd., admit that the normally composed Toronto sports fans likely will be spewing venom Vince Carter's way when the ex-Raptor returns to Toronto tomorrow night.

In fact, Carter might well be advised to wear a set of ear plugs when he trots on to the Air Canada Centre court for the first time since his December trade to the New Jersey Nets, then admitting he didn't always give his best effort during his days in Raptors purple.

"Our fans responded (vocally) upon the return of Damon Stoudamire and Antonio Davis, two other players who indicated a desire to leave Toronto," Richard Peddie, president of MLSEL, said yesterday.

"I expect it might be the same."

While emotions will be running high, the feeling around the ACC is that Raps fans will maintain their composure and not pose a threat to Carter's safety.

ACC general manager Bob Hunter is confident the proper security measures are in place to keep potential ugly incidents between spectators and Carter from taking place.

"We'll likely redistribute some of our security personnel to around the New Jersey (Nets) bench," he said. "But keep in mind that security measures thoughout the league changed after the Pistons-Pacers incident early in the season," Hunter said.

"The NBA's code of conduct for fans is posted at almost every gate. Besides, we believe our fans follow the highest level of decorum. And if there is the odd issue, we would not tolerate any abuse of a visiting team."

EXTRA POLICE

Raptors officials and NBA security were quick to bring in extra police for a Toronto-New York Knicks game late last year after a threat was made against Carter on the Internet by a disgruntled fan who vowed to come down to the court. Fortunately, nothing materialized.

Meanwhile, one Toronto's ticket brokers said a $180 ducat for tomorrow night's game is going for about $250.

"The demand is still there, but it has tailed off a bit since the Raptors were officially eliminated from the playoffs," the broker said.


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