Ever since their entry into the NBA back in 1995, the Toronto Raptors have had all but two players who have been mentioned in the same sentence as an animal. Those two players are Jerome Williams, or The Junkyard Dog and Chris Bosh, or The Brontosaurus. During the time in which Jerome Williams was in Toronto, he was consistently praised by fans for his tenacity and commitment. It was apparent that he loved Toronto and if it weren’t for a sudden trade with the Chicago Bulls, he most likely would have stayed. Chris Bosh is a different story; however, when he arrived in Toronto he brought a sense of optimism with him. This sense of optimism seemed to glow from within his originally wiry 6’10, 215 lbs form. When Vince Carter was practically run out of Toronto by a notoriously sinister fan base, Chris Bosh was heralded as the “New Hope,” and we’re not talking Star Wars here. His mid-range jump shot had become a patented trademark and the once quiet, baby-faced and apprehensive power forward had turned into a glorified basketball saint in Toronto. Unfortunately, times of prosperity in sports come to and end. After being brutally dispatched at the hands of an up and coming Orlando Magic squad in five games in the 2008 Playoffs, and missing the playoffs in 2009, questions began to arise regarding Chris’ contract and if he would remain in Toronto after the 2010 season. On April 20, 2009, General Manager Bryan Colangelo announced that he would offer Bosh a contract extension during the off-season – a proposal that Bosh would later reject. Thus in an effort to convince Chris to stay, Colangelo assembled a team that appeared to be destined for resurgence in the Eastern Conference standings. Alas, in typical Toronto sports fashion, the team underachieved and they were left in a state of disarray after dropping several spots out of contention in the final weeks of the regular season. Ultimately, it can be said that whichever jersey Chris Bosh dons at the start of next season, rest assured that it wont be a Raptors jersey.
This summer, we can except to see Chris Bosh run out of town in a way similar to Vince Carter’s fall from grace. In 2004, Vince Carter went public with his frustration regarding the management of the Toronto Raptors. In a private meeting with Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment President, Richard Peddie, Carter claimed that Peddie told him the team would make strong steps towards acquiring beneficial free agents such as Jamal Magloire and Steve Nash as well as interviewing Julius Erving for a possible position as General Manager of the team. To Carter’s dismay, the team would ultimately select Rafael Araujo with the 8th pick in the NBA Entry Draft and ultimately reaffirming the Raptors intentions of rebuilding to Carter’s dissatisfaction. Eventually, and just as the perpetual Toronto basketball boo-bird will tell you, Carter was impulsively dealt for a journeyman and a wash-up and a couple of throw ins along with a bag of basketballs. The reason for this spur of the moment deal? Carter practically had a target on the back of his head. With that being said, Chris Bosh is currently in a very similar situation. In recent weeks, he posted on his widely followed twitter account, “Should I stay or should I go?” Moreover, Bosh would proceed to change his location to “everywhere” and his employer to “unknown.” Actions such as these lead us to believe that although the fans may not have made up their minds concerning if they want Bosh to remain a Raptor, it is evident that Chris certainly has, and in the long run, is this such a bad thing after all?
It’s safe to say that Chris Bosh’s tenure with the raptors is essentially over, so allow me to use the past tense. When put in focus, Vince Carter and Chris Bosh’s careers with the Toronto Raptors are actually very similar. Each player spent seven years with the team; both were drafted in the top five, both made the playoffs twice but failed to advance past the second around and lastly both left Toronto in an apparent rush. Furthermore, both had once proclaimed that they would bring good fortune and success to the team, this just being one of the proclamations that neither player could fulfill. With Bosh’s departure, the team will either try to do a sign and trade deal to get some form of compensation in return for the giving away of a perennial all-star or the Raptors can let Bosh leave on his own to test his luck in free agency and hope for the best at the draft (with the 0.6 % chance they have of obtaining the first overall pick). Maybe this will be the summer that a Toronto sports team actually does something right for once, you never know, accidents do happen.
That being said, when Bosh returns to Toronto, don’t be surprised if he’s greeted with a symphony of “boo’s.” People say that you’re only as good as your last game, and Bosh’s last game being a 2 minute and 8 second effort in which Toronto lost pitifully to a ineligible playoff team in the Golden State Warriors and Bosh endured a season ending injury. Thus, if five words could sum up Bosh’s career with the Raptors, it would most likely be, hmm, I don’t know, “An unfortunate return on investment.”<!--EndFragment-->