Plea to Raptor Fans, Don’t Boo Chris Bosh!

Chris Bosh released his inner cave man more than a few times as a member of the Raptors

In a quiet, undramatic divorce, not like those ones you see on Divorce Court, Chris Bosh and the Toronto Raptors parted ways after a 7 year long-term relationship. The break up wasn’t messy but it was by no means mutual as the breaker certainly offended the breakee.

GM Bryan Colangelo went as far to say that Bosh didn’t care down the stretch run of the 2009-10 season. “Whether he was mentally checked out or just wasn’t quite into it down the stretch, he wasn’t the same guy,” Colangelo said. “I think everybody saw that, but no one wanted to acknowledge it.” Head Coach Jay Triano further stated that “When you talk about Chris being a leader in the locker room, I think it’s the one thing he wasn’t for us.” Hard feelings much?

Today, Chris Bosh returns to Toronto for the first time since his decision to join Dwyane Wade and Lebron James in Miami. Yes, Lebron James too.

With Bosh essentially leaving fans and most importantly the Raptor organization hanging, it is no wonder why many people expressed their resentment towards Chris Bosh. It wasn’t the first time that their franchise player bailed on them. 3 high draft picks in Damon Stoudamire, Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter that had the possibility to carry the franchise all stated their desire to leave the city at some point in their tenure with the Raptors. Not to mention Hedo Turkoglu who requested a trade after one tumultuous season.

It was all too familiar to Raptor fans. Except in this case, like a good stripper, Chris Bosh teased Canadian basketball junkies into thinking he might just come back. However, like a good stripper, the hope dangling in front of them never materialized.

Even though Bosh gave us Raptor fans a good long tease that only ended in disappointment, I am asking you not to boo the man who gave you seven hard-fought seasons.

I understand your pain, but this time the circumstances are entirely different. Chris Bosh didn’t quit like Vince Carter or cry to his General Manager like Damon Stoudamire. He played out the entire length of his contract like a real man should, and wasn’t making any excuses for his team’s lack of success. Almost every night Bosh put his heart and soul on the floor for the Raptors.

It was also the behind the scenes work that makes Bosh different from previous Raptor defectors. His mid-range jumper is as reliable as anyone’s in the NBA and while his size may still be a problem Bosh he worked his tail off in order to add muscle to his 6”10 frame. The growth of Chris Bosh is a product of his effort as Raptor colour man Jack Armstrong likes to say, “Input equals output.”

It became apparent that Chris Bosh was not a franchise player and building the team around him as your cornerstone was not going to work. Nevertheless, you can hardly blame Bosh for that. It isn’t his fault that he can’t carry an entire team on his back like his new teammates Lebron and Wade. His rebounding may not be that of a top NBA rebounder, but he was still a legitimate 20-10 guy. On a nightly basis you could count on his consistency. He didn’t get his shiny new contract for no reason now did he?

Chris Bosh might not have handled his situation as well as Toronto’s other former franchise player Roy Halladay, but he also isn’t a robot like Roy Halladay. Bosh doesn’t just exhibit human emotions either, he exhibits human emotions that are likeable and entertaining. His passion on the court at times was like none other. He was genuine in his attempt to make the Raptors a true contender.

I think after this divorce Raptor fans have forgotten what a great guy Bosh is off the court, which is part of what made us to fall for the guy. Remember this all-star advertisement?

The situation at hand isn’t about forgiving and forgetting because Chris Bosh has nothing to be sorry for. Bosh doesn’t deserve to get what seems to be the inevitable, a hate filled homecoming. He doesn’t deserve to get booed from the fans that he worked so hard to please for seven seasons. He didn’t Lebron James his city or Carmelo Anthony his teammates. Chris Bosh deserves a cheer and I ask you Raptor fans to give him one.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. I’m on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favor.

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Suck it up Cleveland

Cavalier fans are a little bit more than upset over the departure of Lebron James

The Dream team, 3 musketeers, the Lone Wolf finally getting a wolf pack. It doesn’t matter to Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh what you call them, but what does matter is that it is now official that the big 3 will be joining forces down in South Beach after James announced his decision last night live on ESPN.

Cleveland sports fans, who have endured so much heartbreak, were devastated to hear that Lebron James would not be re-signing with his home town team. In an open letter to Cavs fans, owner Dan Gilbert referred to Lebron James’ decision as a “cowardly betrayal,” which I’m sure is a statement that many Cleveland fans would agree with right now. However, I’m wondering why anyone would expect anything less from the man who features a tattoo that reads ‘CHOSEN1?’ Lebron James is a jerk. Always has been, always will be, and that is something that NBA fans are going to have to accept.

It’s amazing how many Cleveland fans were so delusional to so strongly believe that Lebron James was going to re-sign with the Cavaliers. There was obviously a chance of it happening, but it should not have been such a shock when he chose to play elsewhere. The city of Cleveland is whining like little babies but the whining is hardly justified.

I hear it over and over and over again that if Lebron had any loyalty he would have chosen to stay in the only city that he has ever known and lived in. That Lebron should finish what he started in Cleveland, and bring the city a championship.

Are Cleveland Cavalier fans trying to say that they are 100% loyal fans and support their team and players under any circumstance? It sure seems that way.

My question is what happens in the future when Lebron James loses a step in his game and is no longer the same dominant player that he is currently is. Can you say to yourself that you would give him your unwavering support?

Loyalty goes both way folks, and it is seen so often in sports where home fans turn on their previously beloved players. Donovan Mcnabb was pretty much shown the door in Philadelphia after he has given so much to that Eagles franchise. Where is the loyalty? Green Bay fans now despise Brett Favre after he “left” their team to continue his career even when it was the Packers who wanted him to step aside for Aaron Rodgers. Vancouver Canuck fans were quick to throw Markus Naslund under the bus for his many flaws once his game started to decline a bit.

Furthermore, where is the loyalty when fans are booing their team just because they are not playing their fans’ standards? Don’t give me the garbage that fans deserve to boo their own team because that’s their job, they paid to be at the game and that players make millions of dollars. Unless your team is not putting any effort in I cannot fathom why any fan believes that booing their own team will do any good towards helping their team win games. As a person how would you feel if your so called loyal fans were booing you when you are putting forth your best effort?

Cavs fans are not happy that their latest toy is being taken away

Sports fans treat their players like little kids do with toys. You love ‘em when they’re new, exciting and the best thing out there, but you want to get rid of them when they’re old and no good to you anymore.

I also wonder if people are naive or just too stupid to realize that sports is a business just like anything else. It seems obvious…right?

No player owes anything to any city or team. Lebron James had 7 outstanding years for the Cleveland Cavaliers while he was under contract. He brought them to the NBA finals once and had 2 MVP seasons. Yes it is about time he won a championship, but obviously he feels that he has a better chance to win one in Miami.

Here’s a news flash for everyone. You don’t own your players.

Vince Carter was once the talk of the town in Toronto

Let me pitch out two scenarios and you tell me which one you would rather have. What is a worse feeling for a team? Having your franchise player demand a trade while he is still under contract or have him leave as a FREE agent. As a Raptor and a Canuck fan I have felt the pain of having your franchise player demand a trade prematurely. Vince Carter just stopped trying in his effort to be traded and Pavel Bure flat out refused to play. Once they moved teams they both decided it was time to play again and of course play at an extremely high level. Vince Carter averaged 27.5 points a game in his first half-season with the Nets and Pavel Bure had 58 and 59 goals with the Florida Panthers in two consecutive years.

This was never the case with Lebron James as he had two MVP awards in his final two seasons with the Cavaliers. Lebron James left as a free agent, which means that he has no obligation to his former team for those of you who don’t understand.

I think another fact that is overlooked by people is that this is a once in a forever opportunity for Lebron, Bosh and Wade. When does anyone have the opportunity to play with two of his good friends who also happen to be a couple of the NBA’s elite? This is something that is unprecedented and may never be done again. It seems to me that it would be pretty difficult to pass up on an opportunity like this.

It also should be said that the criticism that Lebron James is getting is not fair at all. It is not the amount of criticism that is unfair but it is the way it is being presented. No matter what choice that Lebron made he would have been ridiculed by some. This was a no win situation for James.

Michael Rosenberg wrote an article for Sports Illustrated yesterday that focused on Lebron taking the easy route by choosing Miami. However, he also says in the article that he thought Lebron was going to stay in Cleveland because he thought that all he cared about was the adoration. So basically he is implying that if Lebron had chosen Cleveland he would have written an article about why Lebron James only cares about being the ‘man’ and wants people to worship him and only him. However, because Lebron chose Miami, Rosenberg decided to write about Lebron finding the easiest route to an NBA championship.

Way to contradict yourself.

I don’t see anything wrong with putting on an hour-long special to announce his decision. Sure it’s selfish and egotistical, but unlike other fans, this is what I expect from LBJ. The NBA loved this special, it created a different kind of hype that the sport probably won’t see again for a long time.

What I didn’t like though about the entire free agent ordeal was the way Lebron gave so many fans a false hope and kept them dangling for so long. Whose to say that those 3 hadn’t decided long ago that they were going to team up and that this whole process was just a big charade? If that is the case then I do see a lot of things wrong with the hour-long special, but until that story comes out I am completely fine with it.

In the end though, the fact of the matter is that only one team was going to happy, and the other teams would be snubbed. That was never going to change.

There is a big distinction between life and sports and we have to be able to differentiate the two from each other. Although, I do know that Lebron James is dead in some of the eyes Cleveland fans. Lebron leaving Cleveland for Miami is not on the same level as losing your job or having a close family member die.

Stop crying and just suck it up Cleveland.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. I’m now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

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Lebron and sidekick will be dominant, but will it translate to a championship?

Fellow all-stars Lebron James and Chris Bosh could be playing together next season

This past weekend the New York Times reported that a team executive from one of the clubs going after Lebron James said the free agent to be is strongly leaning towards the Chicago Bulls, along with fellow USA teammate Chris Bosh. The source said that he gathered as much from discussions with his fellow NBA executives, saying, “I think it’s a done deal.” The source also stated that the other major teams attempting to lure Lebron and Co. are the Miami Heat, New Jersey Nets, New York Knicks, and the Los Angeles Clippers. Now we all know that Lebron James can carry a team to the top of the NBA standings and adding a guy like Chris Bosh to his team would make it that much more dominant. However, the question arises of whether bringing in Lebron and another max player will translate into an NBA championship.

If the New York Times report does indeed happen to be correct, and the Bulls are able to lure Lebron and Bosh to the windy city, they will be joining probably the best supporting cast, of the teams that have the cap space to acquire 2 max free agents. Of the 5 players that the Bulls have under contract next year, 4 of those guys are all productive players. The 4 include Derrick Rose, Joakim Noah, Luol Deng, and Taj Gibson. Derrick Rose is turning into one of the elite point guards in the league and Joakim Noah has made a name for himself with his rebounding, hustle, and determination. Although Luol Deng has not lived up to the big contract he signed a couple of years ago, he did have a strong comeback season last year averaging 17.6 points and 7.3 rebounds. Taj Gibson, who plays the same position as Chris Bosh also had a solid rookie season and would be a very adequate backup.

I think that there is virtually no doubt that the Bulls, with Lebron and Bosh, would be a dominate regular season team. However, come playoff time, they are going to have some issues if they are unable to bring in the role palyers that would best complement their lineup. First off, as of right now the Bulls are missing a shooting guard/quality stand-still shooter. If you have Derrick Rose, Chris Bosh, Lebron James and Joakim Noah in your starting lineup, LBJ is the only “consistent” 3-point shooter (33%). The offensive end is seriously contracted with those 4 guys on the floor. If the Bulls cannot add a couple quality shooters it will be tough to call them legitimate contenders for the NBA Championship.

J.J. Redick is looking at a raise this offseason

For the Chicago Bulls, cash is going to be an issue for bringing in quality players, but there are a couple potential guys on the market that could fit nicely onto their roster. J.J. Reddick is a restricted free agent who proved that he can be a real solid bench player for the Orlando Magic this year, as he has expanded his game and improved his defence. Also, former USA National team player Mike Miller is an unrestricted free agent and could be what the Bulls need. Although Miller has stopped shooting the ball in recent years, he still shoots it at a high percentage, and maybe getting open looks from a star-studded Bulls cast could change that. Nate Robinson could also be an option as a guy coming off the bench. Robinson showed that he can keep his mouth shut and put the team above his own needs while he was in Boston. Let’s not forget the aging Anthony Parker who is a smart veteran that knows his role and will not be seeking a whole lot of money.

It should be noted that Luol Deng has shot the 3 ball at around 38% the past three years, but only took 1.2 three-pointers a game last season, which was the most in his career.

The thing is, it is hard enough to find good role players for your team under normal circumstances. But when you are hoping to sign top flight free agents the salary cap becomes even more of an issue. It is going to be a big problem for these teams that have shed so much salary specifically for the 2010 free agent class because they have virtually no one on their rosters. The Chicago Bulls currently seem to be the best equipped of the teams in contention for Lebron and friends.

Right now, the Knicks have Danilo Gallinari, Wilson Chandler, as well as the developing Toney Douglas and Bill Walker. They also have Eddy Curry, but he is just most likely going to sit on the bench and count his millions. New York is not looking like the most viable option for any top tier free agent.

The Miami Heat, assuming Wade comes back, have only 3 guys on their roster after waiving James Jones today. The other two would be Michael Beasley and Mario Chalmers. Again, like other teams in their situation, they are looking to find a number of quality bench/role players.

People like to talk about the weakness of Lebron James’ supporting cast in Cleveland, but when you look those guys compared to these other teams, was it really that bad? The Cavs had Mo Williams who is a very good shooter from the outside and although he isn’t a playmaking point guard you have to wonder if Lebron would work well with a point guard who dominates the ball and can’t shoot from the outside at a high percentage. Anderson Varejao and Joakim Noah are very similar players. It is obvious that Antawn Jamison underachieved but he has been a 20-10 guy throughout his career. Moreover, you add on Delonte West and J.J. Hickson, and suddenly you think that maybe these teams aren’t much better off than the Cavs.

Don’t get me wrong, adding an all-star power forward will make a world of difference for Lebron James, but in the end you need the proper role players to get the job done. It also has to be said that having Bosh or Stoudemire as a sidekick is not a very solid intimidating presence in the paint for opposing big men. Bosh isn’t strong enough to be a true force inside and Stoudemire doesn’t seem to care on the boards sometimes. That’s why the situation in Chicago would be great because Joakim Noah can be that force in the inside even though he is more of a power forward.

Brook Lopez is turning into one of the best center\'s in the NBA

One team that isn’t talked about nearly as much as the Knicks, Heat, and Bulls, are the lowly New Jersey Nets. In terms of supporting cast, the Nets are arguably in the second best position among the teams involved in the Lebron sweepstakes. New Jersey currently has 8 guys under contract and soon to be 9 with Derrick Favours coming to town. As we have seen with the LA Lakers the past two years, having a big team makes a big difference. If Derrick Favours can live up to his potential, he would give the Nets a two headed monster up front along with Brook Lopez. You also have an all-star calibre point guard in Devin Harris, who is looking to rebound after a poor injury plagued season. Then add to the mix good role players in Courtney Lee and sophmore Terrence Williams. All of the sudden you’re looking at an upper echelon team if you can acquire Lebron James. However unlike Chicago or Miami, the sidekick needed here would not be Chris Bosh or Amare, rather someone like Joe Johnson would probably be the best fit if Lebron were to flock to New Jersey considering they would already have two starting big men. It was also reported today that Yi JianLian has been traded to the Wizards for Quinton Ross and cash, which leaves even more cap room for the New Jersey Nets.

It looks as though Lebron James is going to leave Cleveland and bring a sidekick with him wherever he goes. There is no denying that a team with Lebron James is immediately a playoff team, but without the right pieces it will not be a championship team.

Agree? Disagree? If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply in the comments section below. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com. I’m now on twitter follow me @paintstheblack and I will gladly return the favour.

Also check out howiGit’s blog, a guaranteed great read every time.

Bosh to the Big Apple?

Chris Bosh has been a treat to watch throughout his time in Toronto and it very much looks as though he will be leaving sometime this summer. Yesterday, Chris Bosh gave the Raptors his list of 4…err 5 teams that he would like to play for next year, which includes Chicago, New York, Miami, LA Lakers and of course he has to say Toronto although we all know that this is not going to be the case. Sources have said the Raptors as well as Bosh prefer the sign and trade, and obviously the Raptors would want some sort of replacement for Chris Bosh but what is the best option for Bosh as well as the Raptors?

Chicago seems like the least viable option for Bosh as the fit just wouldn’t be right there. It would be ridiculous to give up Joakim Noah after his breakout season this year, and the rookie power forward Taj Gibson has also showed some nice promise. Moreover, a sign and trade involving Bosh with either of these two players is not probably not a good idea for Chicago if they want to get Lebron, and are either Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, or the veteran Brad Miller fair compensation for Chris Bosh. I would think not.

In terms of fit Miami looks as though it could be a very possible destination for Bosh. There has been much talk of Wade and Bosh teaming up, especially after they have become quite good friends from the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Despite the fact that Miami has very few players under contract next year, a Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade tandem is scary to think about. Now the player under contract currently filling the 4 spot in Miami is the always consistently inconsistent former #2 pick Michael Beasley. The question is whether Miami is ready to give up on their former lottery pick for proven talent and whether Toronto believes Beasley is a viable replacement for their supposed franchise player. Personally I feel that Bosh would be a great fit with Wade as I don’t think he can ever do it on his own anywhere even with a great supporting cast. However, the Raptors need a strong inside presence and someone who is willing to commit themselves to the defensive cause and Michael Beasley does not fit either of those criteria. His scoring does not compensate enough to call him a solid starter.  All in all a Bosh, Wade team would be great for Miami but not for Toronto leaving this option, in my eyes, null and void.

That leaves two options: The Lakers and the Knicks. There were rumours during the season that a straight up trade of Bosh for Bynum was in the works. This just does not make any sense for the Lakers. The Lakers already have a Bosh essentially with Pau Gasol. Bosh does not provide the inside presence that Bynum gives, and although Bosh’s offence is very good you cannot have 3 guys who need the ball in their hands a lot. The Raptors could defenitely use Bynum, but at a young age Bynum has already had some injury issues which I think spells trouble for a big man making him not a very good option even for the Toronto “no defence” Raptors.

Now that just gives Bosh one spot to go and that’s the lowly New York Knicks. The sign and trade possibility of David Lee for Chris Bosh is not ideal for the Raptors but is not out of the question. Although David Lee is only 6″9 he would serve as a good replacement for Chris Bosh as he is a legit 20 and 10 guy despite what some people may lead you to believe. With Chris Bosh moving to New York he would finally get the national exposure that he never received playing in Canada. This possibility becomes even greater if Lebron James does indeed decide to sign with the Knicks, as they have spent the last 2 years basically tanking for a shot at Lebron James and another max contract (Wade or Bosh). I believe that they only have two players under contract right now with Danilo Gallinari and Wilson Chandler.

If you go through the teams on Bosh’s list it is evident that New York is the only viable destination right now, as Bosh does not want to come back to Toronto to play on a perennially mediocre team. Chris Bosh has a tough decision to make but I think that he is going to the Big Apple.

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, please feel free to reply. Or you can e-mail me at cross_can15@hotmail.com

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