Tag Archives: Chris Bosh

The Raptors start a new without Chris Bosh

From Marc Spiers of Yahoo! Sports

Andrea Bargnarni Gritty forward Reggie Evans, currently the NBA’s leading rebounder, is now the most popular Raptor because of his blue-collar style of play. Rookie forward Ed Davis is expected to make his debut sometime this month after recovering from right knee surgery, but no one is expecting him to make an immediate impact like Blake Griffin or John Wall. DeMar DeRozan is gifted athletically, but is inexperienced and still needs to develop a consistent jump shot.

That leaves Andrea Bargnani, the 7-foot No. 1 pick of the 2006 draft. While he was comfortable to defer to Bosh, Bargnani now has more freedom to grow his game. Bosh’s absence has also impacted him in more subtle ways: Bargnani said he’s getting more fan requests for pictures since Bosh departed.

Bargnani’s confidence received a boost during the summer when he averaged 24.1 points and starred for Italy’s national team in qualification games for the 2011 European championships. Through the Raptors’ first three games, he’s averaged 23.3 points while making 55.6 percent of his 3-pointers.

Bargnani is also averaging just three rebounds. And during two separate possessions at the end of the Raptors’ 111-108 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Monday, he failed to get the ball for a needed 3-pointer. Still, he insists he’s ready for the pressure that now comes from being one of the Raptors’ top players.

“Why should I hide from this?” Bargnani said. “This is everybody’s dream. That’s why you practice every day and get better. Otherwise, why should you practice so much? Stay home. The pressure is a good pressure. If someone is putting pressure on you, that means you were doing good and they expect more from you, otherwise no one is going to expect nothing from you.”

Why I have to cheer for the Raptors this season

Okay the Raptors are going to be horrible this season.  I really don’t want to cheer for them but according to the code of the sports fan by Bill Simmons I still have to, even after reviewing these exceptions.  My comments are in red

Once you choose a team, you’re stuck with that team for the rest of your life … unless one of the following conditions applies:

  • Your team moves to another city. All bets are off when that happens. In fact, if you decided to turn off that sport entirely, nobody would blame you.  If only I was a Vancouver Grizzlies fan.
  • You grew up in a city that didn’t field a team for a specific sport — so you picked a random team — and then either a.) your city landed a team, or b.) you moved to a city that fielded a team for that specific sport. For instance, one of my Connecticut buddies rooted for the Sixers during the Doctor J Era, then happened to be living in Orlando when the Magic came to town. Now he’s a Magic fan. That’s acceptable.
  • One of your immediate family members either plays professionally or takes a relevant management/coaching/front office position with a pro team.
  • You follow your favorite college star (and this has to be a once-in-a-generation favorite college star) to the pros and root for his team du jour … like if you were a UNC fan for the past 20 years, and you rooted for the Bulls (because of MJ) and then the Raptors (because of Vince). Only works if there isn’t a pro team in your area.  Not a lot of University of Saskatchewan Huskies make it to the NBA
  • The owner of your favorite team treated his fans so egregiously over the years that you couldn’t take it anymore — you would rather not follow them at all then support a franchise with this owner in charge. Just for the record, I reached this point with the Boston Bruins about six years ago. When it happens, you have two options: You can either renounce that team and pick someone else, or you can pretend they’re dead, like you’re a grieving widow. That’s what I do. I’m an NHL widow. I don’t even want to date another team.   This would give Toronto Maple Leafs an out.

So it’s going to be a bad season but I will continue to cheer for the Raptors as I have some faith in Jay Triano and Bryan Colangelo and I plan to channel a lot of my anger over this season onto Chris Bosh.   For those of you who are fans of successful NBA franchises, please be kind to me as this season is going to be a long one. 

Also I would like to extend my thanks to all of you who have not taunted me over the Denver Broncos debacle last weekend.  These wounds are going to take some time to heal.

Update: The Ego that is Chris Bosh

Staring at the swath of Boston Celtics banners hanging from the TD Garden and at more television cameras than he claims he ever saw at his only previous NBA home, Bosh essentially said what many in Toronto suspected:

We weren’t big enough for him.

“I mean, really it’s all about being on TV at the end of the day,” Bosh said following the pre-game shoot around, the first look at the Miami Heat circus about to play at an arena near you all NBA season.

“Seriously, a guy can average (20 points and 10 rebounds) and nobody cares. If you don’t see it, it doesn’t really happen.”

Toiling in the perceived anonymity of Canada’s biggest market doesn’t really cut it for any NBA star worth his ego. These are the guys who lust for Sportscenter (the ESPN version) not Sportscentre (TSN style). Tuesday’s tip off to the season was broadcast nationally in both countries, although only one apparently matters to Bosh.

While I am at it, I might as well roll this article about LeBron James into this post.

When LeBron James was running roughshod over the Cleveland Cavaliers, it became common for him to respond to tough coaching and differing degrees of conflict with the sheer shutdown mode. There goes LeBron, stomping off to the locker room with a staff member in hot pursuit to talk him back into practice. Come on back, King. We need you.

James would mope back onto the floor, reluctant to be told that someone disagreed with his belief on a matter. The Cavaliers’ culture of enabling, letting things go and go, exacerbated these issues. James stayed in a cocoon of perpetual adolescence.

“His coping skills,” one perceptive ex-teammate said, “had been largely underdeveloped.”

It’s what I have always said, LeBron James is a 15 year old in a man’s body.

Did Chris Bosh quit on the Raptors?

As Ball Don’t Lie sees it.

Did Chris Bosh quit? But Colangelo is right, and whether Bosh wants to delude himself or not isn’t our fault. Whether he likes it or not isn’t our fault either. I watched those games. Raptors fans, and there are many, saw those games. And I’m sure the bulk of them appreciated his amazing run over the first 50-plus games and can also understand why a guy takes it easy after being enervated by yet another middling season amongst a group of players who can’t defend or rebound. You’re still safer wearing a Bosh jersey in Toronto than you are wearing a Vince Carter jersey.

This wasn’t a tank job. And it certainly wasn’t every game. Maybe not even every other game. This was just Chris at about 85 percent of what we saw from him earlier that season (and his contributions agree with that percentage), and about 90 percent of what we’ve seen from him for his career. This wasn’t Carter. It wasn’t even Pau Gasol in his last year with the Grizzlies. But Bosh wasn’t going as hard in March. Especially on defense.

And when you act the way you’ve acted? Soliciting free-agent suggestions over Twitter on April 30 even though you’re still technically a member of the Toronto Raptors until July 1? Following Dwyane Wade around North America like a tagalong little brother? The Hamptons nonsense? The All-Star admission? Just being in the same picture as LeBron James, who has become public enemy No. 1?

It allows for those with long memories and nothing to do on a Tuesday night in March to recall what went down. That’s what you’re left with, Chris. And you’re best served not protesting too much. Better to let this slip away.

Kind of like you did with the Raptors’ season.

The (bad) Decision

Adrian Wojnarowski dishes out how the Cleveland Cavaliers lost their childish superstar to the Miami Heat

When the NBA powerbroker and adviser to James, William Wesley – famously known as Worldwide Wes – heard the news, he was duly impressed. After all these months, all this careful planning, Riley had cleared the cap space to give the three stars of free agency contracts starting at about $15 million.

For months, Wesley had believed James’ choice would be the Chicago Bulls, but no one had counted on Riley’s relentlessness in clearing enough cap space to accommodate the three stars. Free agency wouldn’t officially start for another week on July 1, but from then on, Wesley had two words about LeBron and the Heat for the closest of associates: done deal.

Worldwide Wes had understood something about James the Cavaliers refused to believe, and even James’ childhood buddies from Akron were still somewhat unwilling to accept: LeBron James was never re-signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers, and now it was a matter of securing him the proper complement of teammates for the greatest free-agent haul in history.

Riley was 65, a five-time NBA champion, a Hall of Famer and he wanted a dynasty to fade into the sunset of his basketball life. He had kept his word, continuing to dump contract upon contract in a high-wire act that left him without a safety net.

Riley believed he could unload those contracts. And mostly, he believed in his own power of persuasion. He is still the biggest presence, biggest voice in the room. Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey, a statistics analyst, met with Chris Bosh at 12:01 a.m. on July 1 armed with an iPad. Morey’s cult followers on the web hailed it as a resounding success, but Riley never believed he was losing Bosh to the MIT gang.

Riley believed in his ability to get into the room with James and sell him on the way the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers sacrificed salary, shots and statistics for the greater good of a dynasty. Most of all, Riley believed he could benefit on the close relationship that James had with Wade, and that there wasn’t a franchise with cap space that could offer such a compelling case to the two-time defending MVP.

The article is a great one and goes a long ways to show how incredibly sheltered and immature that LeBron James and his inner circle are and why his legacy of one the greatest basketball players in history will always be tarnished and redefined as a self-absorbed, manipulated, quitter.  Quite the price to pay for a championship ring.

The Cold Hard Truth

Playing basketball with Mark

Mark and Oliver’s babysitter is just down from Mayfair School.  I generally drive home, park the car and walk the three blocks down to pick them up.  While at home, I grab a basketball and then Mark and I play one on one at the school on the way home.  Today while playing, Mark started to back me down towards the hoop.  He made a post move and seemed shocked to see me still standing over two feet for him.  At the same time he had this look on his face that said, “This worked for Chris Bosh, why isn’t it working for me.”  I struggled with what to do next.  Should I have let him score or should I reject that shot the way that Saskatchewan voters reject the Liberal Party.  I’ll let you figure out what I did but his favorite player is no longer Chris Bosh but his game is starting to look like Ray Allen’s but from a lot longer distance.

Ollie is our ball boy 

A quick note about this photo.  Mark wanted the ball rotated so the Sport Chek logo is facing forward.  Somewhere in Beaverton, Oregon, a Nike marketing executive gently weeps.

Celebrating Hedo Turkoglu wants to be in Toronto

From the Globe and Mail’s Jeff Blair

Start with the fact that Hedo Turkoglu wants to be in Toronto and that his wife Banu loves the city, and Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo’s latest signing is a strong move.

Go from there and factor in that Turkoglu actually wants the ball late in a game and knows what to do with it, then couple in the pick-and-roll possibilities that have hoop-heads all agog and try to come up with a downside to the team’s free-agent signing.

Toronto Raptors Claw LogoAnswer? There is none – especially if you’re thinking about life after Chris Bosh, which, you know, you ought to be doing.

Colangelo has taken what is essentially the first step of a makeover that will be undertaken when Bosh leaves either as a free agent or through a sign and trade. He has ensured the team will still be competitive.

Turkoglu and Andrea Bargnani doesn’t whisper ‘championship,’ but with pieces added after Bosh leaves, the foundation is there to play a style of basketball that will keep the team competitive.

Turkoglu, Bargnani, Jose Calderon and Player A and Player B sound a lot better than Bargnani, Calderon and Players A, B and C. Besides, this is only money.

Whatever this costs the Raptors in renounced free agents is irrelevant.

Shawn Marion isn’t a difference maker, and in reality he and whoever else is renounced can be replaced, particularly in a buyer’s market.

For a team that is preparing to see yet another franchise player walk away and have its collective psyche dealt yet another blow, having a guy like Turkoglu who can play and actually wants to be in the city is something to be celebrated.

Blair gets to a good point and that is that is that the Toronto Raptors aren’t planning to keep Chris Bosh happy, they are planning for life after Chris Bosh. 

Bosh

Chris Bosh dunking As I unwind tonight, I am watching the Raptors play the New Jersey Nets.  I am just going to come out and say this after watching many Toronto Raptors this season.  I think Chris Bosh is over rated.

Yes he is athletic and gets to the free throw line a lot but Raptor fans somehow think it will be the end of the world is Bosh opts out in 2010.  Losing talent is tough but Bosh seems to score a lot of quiet points and while he loves that jump shot at the top of the key, he misses that shot a lot.  Bosh is considered one of the three untouchables in Toronto but I say trade him now and get something back in value for him.  Build around Bagnarni and Calderon.  I know this will never happen and in 2010, he will be leave for New York or Cleveland but with the Raptors season slipping away, why not build a real title contender as opposed to a 40 win team.  I know the “eighth and final playoff spot” is the Toronto civic slogan but “Championship” has a nice ring to it as well.