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Newz Forum: BASKETBALL: Raptors increase security after threat to Carter

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posted on Nov, 26 2004 @ 03:36 PM
TORONTO -- A threat made against Toronto Raptors guard Vince Carter caused the team to increase security at Wednesday's game against the New York Knicks.

The Raptors added two police officers by the team bench and redeployed their security staff around the court after a team employee read about the threat on the internet. No incidents occurred.

"The threat was directed at Vince," Bob Hunter, the executive vice president and general manager of the Air Canada Centre, said Friday. "Similar to what happened to Detroit, it suggested that a man and three of his friends would attend the game and plan to disrupt the play and try and get onto the court."

Hunter said the team notified the NBA and the police. They didn't want to take any chances, especially after last week's brawl between players and fans in Detroit. Ron Artest of the Indiana Pacers bolted into the stands on Nov 19. after a fan threw a cup at him, touching off a melee in which players exchanged punches with fans. A few fans ran onto the court to confront Artest.

"That changed our whole attitude towards everything related to on-court security," Hunter said. "It piqued everybody's concern. We didn't think that the threat was valid. We thought it was bogus, but you couldn't not take it seriously and we stepped up for it."

Hunter said they'll increase security for a few games. There are usually 12 police officers and 30 to 40 security staff at a game.

Carter, who defended Artest's actions last week, claimed he wasn't aware of the threat against him.

"I don't know much about it. I'm sorry that that person feels that way, but life must go on," Carter said. "It's always of concern, of course, but that's why there is security and you have your people."

Carter has been booed in Toronto in recent weeks because he has requested a trade. Fans have also soured on him because he is averaging a career-low 15.9 points.

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