Matt Barners


The 6th/12th/7th/10th man

From my brief and unspectacular run as a sportswriter, I can think of one certifiably transcendent hometown crowd—the angry, bitter, vengeful group that greeted Vince Carter when he returned as a New Jersey Net to play the Toronto Raptors. As a fan, the only other that comes to mind is the uniformly red mob—giddy and a bit bewildered—that showed up for Toronto’s first playoff game a couple seasons later.