Archive for the ‘Chris Bosh’ Category

When projected Top-10 pick Ed Davis fell to No. 13 (and the only NBA team outside of the U.S.) in the 2010 NBA Draft, most chalked it up to a wrist injury that cut his sophomore season at North Carolina short. Here’s a guy who some thought could have been a top-five pick as a freshman in a pretty talented 2009 Draft, now barely landing in the lottery as a second-year player in a weaker draft.

To put it simply, Ed Davis had gone from top NBA prospect to somewhat forgotten.

On the bright side, Davis was entering a young team in Toronto that was about to lose its franchise power forward, meaning he would get an opportunity to prove the doubters wrong. Then he injures his knee in a pick-up game, and proceeds to miss what should have been his first NBA training camp, his first NBA pre-season, and the first month (17 games) of his rookie season.

A guy who was actually compared to Chris Bosh as a 19-year-old while at UNC was now seen as an injury-prone 21-year-old who still hadn’t suited up in an NBA game. Outside of always hopeful Raptors fans, it seemed that most people had forgotten about Ed Davis…again.

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Bosh vs. Bayless

In case you haven’t heard, Chris Bosh and fiery/clueless ESPN commentator Skip Bayless went eye-to-eye in a WWE-style face-off this morning for ESPN’s First Take.

There were a couple of points worth noting from a Raptors’ perspective.

The part I’m concerned with starts around the 3:45 mark of the video, after Bosh pours his heart out about how the whole “Bosh-Spice” thing insulted his family’s name, his daddy, his daddy’s daddy and his great-aunt-twice-removed and after Skip Bayless responds by finding a way to say “I don’t care about your feelings because you’re still a soft Spice Girl” in not so many words.

Skip then begins a mini-rant by stating, ‘I want you to know that when you were in Toronto, I rarely spoke about you on this show. In fact, I might not have ever spoken about you on this show because you were basically irrelevant to me.”

Bayless goes on to say that Bosh was “toiling away in obscurity in Toronto” despite being a perennial All Star and a “fine player.”

What’s troubling for Raptors’ fans is Bayless confirming what most Raps fans and Canadian basketball fans have always feared the most: irrelevance. Sure, over a 16-year run in the NBA, the Raptors have slowly gained some relevance and the odd beam of spotlight, but an inferiority-complex still exists among the rabid fan-base.

Bayless coming out on national television in the States and basically saying playing in Toronto makes you irrelevant, no matter how good you are, can’t be good from a PR perspective for the Raptors’ organization, despite the number of people who know that Bayless’ comments are often moronic.

My immediate response is that someone needs to remind Skip Bayless who arguably the biggest star in the NBA was from 1999-2001. In reality, it’s not worth it. Skip’s not worth it. He’s one of those guys that speaks for the sake of speaking, even tough he rarely has anything remotely intelligent to say.

But I digress.

Do I think this one minute of typical Bayless ignorance is going to hurt the franchise? Of course not. But I also think if young players like DeMar DeRozan and Ed Davis see and hear these kinds of things, it will give them something to think about. And that’s probably not a good thing.

On a Bosh-note, it’s tough to hate on him here. Sure, watching him get ripped by a lesser man while just sitting there and taking it is funny, especially for the throngs of Canadian Bosh-haters just waiting to erupt in the comments section. But as was the case for most of his time in Toronto, Bosh’s professionalism during this whole ridiculous exchange reveals that at the end of the day, he’s still a pretty stand-up guy with a good head on his shoulders…minus the summer of 2010.

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First of all, before we really get this post started, let’s straighten something out. No, the noise in the ACC was nowhere near as loud as it was for Vince Carter’s first return or any of his first five returns, for that matter. The arena got loud at times, some half-assed chants were started, but for the most part, this was small potatoes compared to VC hate.

Now to the game.

The Raptors used their usual first quarter recipe to make a game of it early. Andrea Bargnani and DeMar DeRozan carried the offence with hot shooting, and Amir Johnson supplied a spark with eight rebounds in the quarter. Chris Bosh was also hot in that first quarter, and it became evident early on that he was in for a big game.

The Raptors hung around throughout the first half, never trailing by more than eight. They weren’t shooting the ball particularly well (42 per cent in first half), and Miami was scorching (57 per cent), but through extra effort and good team ball, Toronto went into the half down just four.

The third quarter was the really the Raptors’ undoing on this night, as the Heat attacked them from the opening possession and began to assert themselves as the quarter wore on. Bosh stayed consistent, Dwyane Wade started getting hot, and LeBron was getting others involved. There was definitely some panic in the ACC, as the Heat opened up a 13-point lead and looked ready to blow the game wide open.

Credit the Raptors for digging down and climbing back into the game at the end of the third quarter. They found a way to cut the deficit to eight heading into the fourth, and to be honest, actually had their fair share of opportunities to make it even closer than that, but couldn’t capitalize.

That trend continued into the fourth quarter. Every time the Heat began to pull away again, Andrea Bargnani converted an and-one or nailed an ice-cold three to slowly chip away at Miami’s lead. And once again, the Raptors were getting chances to creep even closer, but found a way to blow those chances, never getting closer than four points, at 91-87.

If there was one area of the game that really held the Raptors back tonight (besides rebounding), it was point guard play. Yes, I’m aware Jose Calderon racked up 14 assists, but his overall game was below average. He took some ill-advised shots, which ruined many Raptors’ runs in the second half, and when he took shots he should have taken, he just missed them. From a shooting standpoint, it was typical Calderon: going cold in the biggest moments of the biggest games.

When the Raptors went to the bench to relieve Jose, Jerryd Bayless was even worse. I’m usually a fan of what Bayless brings to the table, even on an off night, but he simply didn’t have it tonight, and his play was hard to watch.

From the negatives of loss no. 41 to the positives, Bargnani, DeRozan, Johnson and Ed Davis were all deserving of some praise.

Bargnani only grabbed four rebounds, and was average on the defensive end, but without his lights out shooting, the Raptors would have been dead on arrival tonight. If there is one positive thing you can say about Bargnani, it’s that he usually hits big shots when you need him to, in big games. In that way, he’s the opposite of Calderon.

DeRozan finished with 24 points and aggressively attacked the basket throughout the game. He missed some close-range shots and layups, but the effort and fight were clearly there. Amir had a terrible shooting night, and like DeMar, got some unlucky bounces around the rim. But he still contributed 11 rebounds and five blocks in 26 minutes.

As for young Ed Davis, he continued to do the Raptors’ dirty work, finishing with 13 boards in just 23 minutes.

There was actually a point in the fourth quarter where Jay Triano had Bargnani, Johnson and Davis all on the floor together. It was a surprising look, and it will be interesting to see if we get it again at some point down the stretch of this lost season.

Before I go, I wanted to point out some interesting sights and sounds you may not have seen or heard if you watched this game on television. First, Bosh was actually booed in the pre-game layup line. When he received a pass, the boos rained down, and fans actually cheered when he missed a shot…in the pre-game warm-ups. Then during the singing of the U.S. national anthem, the crowd began to boo when Bosh was shown on the jumbo-tron. While I felt there was reason to boo Bosh, I also thought it was classless to do it during the national anthem.

In hockey, there is the sarcastic cheer that a struggling goalie receives when he makes a routine save. In basketball, in Toronto, we now have the sarcastic rebound cheer. In the last two home games at the ACC, there has been a noticeable, insincere cheer when Bargnani grabbed his first rebound.

Also, if you haven’t heard already, after the ball game, Bosh was the last player to leave the court, as he had been stopped for an interview with the Heat broadcasters. As he left the floor, Bosh stopped, blew kisses to the crowd and appeared to be making a type of “bring it on” hand motion. Some believe Bosh was actually being sincere, showing love for the city before he left. But it did not look like a sincere gesture from my vantage point, and these comments might confirm that.

Lastly, if you were wondering what the best in-arena sign was, it wasn’t even Bosh-related. It was actually intended for LeBron, and it was a cardboard cutout of Delonte West’s face. Need I say more?

Raptors Player of the Game: Andrea Bargnani – 39 Min, 38 Pts, 15-26 FG, 5-6 3Pt, 3-4 FT, 4 Reb, 3 TO

Heat Player of the Game: LeBron James – 38 Min, 23 Pts, 8-18 FG, 0-2 3Pt, 7-10 FT, 13 Reb, 8 Ast, 5 TO

Goat of the Game: Jerryd Bayless – 15 Min, 2 Pts, 0-3 FG, 0-1 3Pt, 2-2 FT, 3 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 TO

A Whole Lot of Nothing

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In his post on Tuesday, Scott put it perfectly. You don’t necessarily need a specific reason to boo Chris Bosh on Wednesday night. You should do it because it’s fun, and with the season we’re currently experiencing in Toronto, you should boo Bosh and create a memorable atmosphere inside the Air Canada Centre because it’s probably the closest thing to a meaningful game this team will play for a little while. (By the way, if you’re going to the game tonight, check out Scott’s list of potential Bosh-related chants)

But if you’re one of those fans that needs to justify your madness with a method, if you really need a “reason” to boo poor Chris Bosh, then I’ll give you the only reason that really matters: he didn’t do anything for this franchise.

Sure, he played hard and well for seven years in Toronto and gave us some memories, but in the grand scheme of things, he didn’t do anything for us.

I’m of the belief that if a guy wins a championship in a city (and there are no extenuating circumstances), he pretty much deserves a lifetime pass in that city. He should always be welcomed back with open arms, no matter where his career takes him after that. In rare circumstances, when a player has really lifted a city, (think Doug Gilmour with the Leafs in the early 90′s), he deserves that same championship treatment, even if he never won a title in the city.

Other than that, fans should have free reign to treat returning players as they see fit.

Forget winning a championship, Bosh never won more than two playoff games in a season in Toronto. In seven tries, he got the Raptors to the playoffs just twice and only had one winning season here. You could definitely make the argument that Bryan Colangelo (and Rob Babcock before him) never surrounded Bosh with the sufficient talent to truly succeed. But then I would have to counter that argument with my opinion that during the Colangelo Era, Bosh probably had a better supporting cast than LeBron James or Dwyane Wade had, most of the time.

Bosh always seemed to work his tail off on the floor, and did steadily improve year after year. He should have probably never been a franchise player in the NBA, but he worked hard enough to almost fool everyone into believing that he was. In many ways, Chris Bosh was the “Anti-Vince.” While Vince Carter never fully utilized his out of this world natural talent and athletic abilities, Bosh probably got more out of his body and his skill-set than he ever should have, simply because he worked hard at his craft.

You have to respect that, and I do. Believe me when I tell you that Bosh deserves a lot more respect than Vince Carter ever deserved, and deep down, I think a lot of you know that. You also have to recognize the great work Bosh always did in the community.

Bosh gave a lot to the Raptors organization, and everyone knows this. But as Bryan Colangelo mentioned in this Toronto Sun interview, “he arguably took a lot away when he left.”

It may seem confusing that on one hand, I’m saying Bosh gave a lot to the franchise and on the other, I’m saying he didn’t do anything. In his “First Ink” DVD released in 2009, Bosh said the reason no Raptors player has his jersey in the rafters is “because nobody’s done anything yet.” Even at that point, just over a year ago, Bosh was already recognizing that no matter the contributions guys like him and Vince Carter have made to the Raptors, nobody had done anything yet. And Bosh sure as hell didn’t do anything in his only Raptors season following that DVD release.

So if you ask Bosh, even he knows what I’m talking about. He didn’t do anything here. It’s that simple. And if you think a guy deserves your undying love and a pass from the boo-birds despite that, I’d have to question your true loyalty as a fan of a team instead of just a player.

Bosh has said time and time again that his leaving Toronto had nothing to do with the city, that it was nothing personal, just business. It was him doing what he had to do.

Well, Chris, as Raptors fans, as Torontonians, as proud Canadians, understand that the reception you receive on Wednesday night is nothing personal.

As the Corleone family said, “it’s only business.” It’s what we have to do.

LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh start in RaptorBlog's "Two and a Half Men"

On Wednesday, Chris Bosh will return to the Air Canada Centre to play the Toronto Raptors for the first time since he signed with the Miami Heat last July. Naturally, a lot of the media and online chatter leading up to the game is about how Chris Bosh will be received by Toronto fans. Will they boo him? Should they boo him?

The answer to both questions is “yes”. They will boo him because that’s what Toronto fans do to players who forsake the Raptors, Toronto and Canada before returning with their new teams. They did it to Tracy McGrady, Vince Carter and Hedo Turkoglu, so I can assure you they’ll do it with Bosh.

As for why Raptors fans should boo Bosh, I’m not going to attempt to provide you with a series of convoluted rationalizations explaining why he deserves to be booed. As Clint Eastwood said in the movie Unforgiven, “Deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.” Raptors fans should boo and taunt Bosh tomorrow night because it will be fun.

This has been a miserable season to be a Raptors fan, even more miserable than usual. This team stinks, no matter how Bryan Colangelo tries to spin things. And because the Raptors haven’t won a playoff series since 2001, there has been very little joy in Raptorsland over the past decade.

You want to know what I consider to be the most enjoyable Raptors game I’ve attended since Vince Carter was traded? It was the first game Carter returned to Toronto in April 2005, when Raptors fans at the Air Canada Centre gave him what I remember as an even more raucous and venomous reception than the one LeBron James received in Cleveland this season. The energy in that building was incredible. And yes, I remember that Vince scored 39 points to lead his Nets to a double-digit win over the Raptors that night. That doesn’t take away from what a fun experience it was.

I don’t particularly care what Bosh did or didn’t do when he was a Raptor, nor do I care any longer about how he carried himself in the media and on Twitter when it became obvious he wasn’t going to re-sign with the Raptors last off-season. All I care about is that he’s wearing a different uniform now and I believe he’s more than a little thin-skinned. In my mind, those are good reasons to boo this man.

Simply booing Bosh for all four quarters is certainly a nice start, but it’s not enough. He’ll probably get accustomed to the boos once he realizes they’re not going away, so Raptors fans need to mix in some chants and taunts to get his attention. While I encourage you to come up with your own taunts — and leave them in the comments if you think of anything good — here a few you can work with if you’re going to be at the game.

Finally, if you feel like getting really fancy with your taunts, you and your friends could rehearse and perform a rousing rendition of The Basketball Jones’ “Like A Bosh”. Allow me to refresh your memory.

Aside from being creative with your taunts and having as much fun as possible, your goal should be to make LeBron James and Dwyane Wade laugh at your Bosh insults because that’s when you can be sure Bosh will be upset. No matter what he claims, he cares very, very deeply what those guys think about him.

So that I provide some balance at the end of this post, I’ll grant you that Raptors fans at the Air Canada Centre tomorrow night could choose to exhibit class and reverence for Bosh’s accomplishments as a Raptor when he’s introduced, and then treat it like any other entertaining game where the Raptors face one of the top teams in the league. You could certainly take that approach, but why would you? That’s no fun.