Chris Bosh came into the NBA in 2003 as a skinny, underweight kid who was thrust into playing centre on an undersized (and underperforming) Toronto Raptors team. It’s now September 2021, and Chris Bosh is a Hall of Famer.
Bosh, who played for the Raptors from 2003-04 through 2009-20, joined Chris Webber, Ben Wallace, Bob Dandridge, Yolanda Griffith, Fats Jenkins, Lauren Jackson, Toni Kukoc, Paul Pierce, and Peral Moore as a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame 2021 Class. The induction ceremony was held on Saturday night.
After leaving the Raptors in free agency in 2010, Bosh joined the Miami Heat. He was presented last night by two fellow Heat Hall of Famers, Ray Allen and Pat Riley. In fact, Bosh started off his acceptance speech by giving Riley back a championship ring — one of Riley’s own from Riley’s time with the Los Angeles Lakers. Riley had given the ring to Bosh when Riley was recruiting the then-free-agent to come to Miami.
You can watch the entire speech below:
Bosh came to the Raptors as the fourth overall pick in the 2003 NBA Draft. He joined a team in transition; Antonio Davis was traded partway through his first season, putting a lot of pressure on the rookie’s shoulders as a frontcourt presence. Then in his first offseason, head coach Kevin O’Niell and GM Glen Grunwald were fired, and Vince Carter was traded partway into his second season. Yeah, it was a lot for a 21-year old!
Still, Bosh blossomed into an All-Star in Toronto, leading the team to the playoffs in 2007 and 2008. But when the team couldn’t build a consistent roster around him, Bosh used his 2010 free agency to find a new home in Miami.
Bosh made five All-Star games as a Raptor, made the 2007 All-NBA second team, and finished his Raptors career with averages of 20.2 points, 9.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. He’s the team’s all-time leader in rebounds and in blocks, and is third in scoring.
In Miami, Bosh joined LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in a “big three” that made four straight NBA Finals (winning two); he made six more All-Star appearances before a blood clot issue forced him to retire early.
Bosh isn’t the first former Raptor to be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Other former Raptors in the Hall include Tracy McGrady, Hakeem Olajuwon (lol) and Alonzo Mourning (double lol). Original Raptors GM Isiah Thomas is also in the Hall.
But of that group, Bosh clearly had the most accomplished Raptors career. Certainly it was the longest of those four, and he’s also the only player currently in the Hall to play in an All-Star game as a Raptor. And, that’s not nothing.
Vince Carter is sure to join Chris Bosh in the Hall in four years or so, and then hopefully one day, Kyle Lowry will as well.