Let’s Talk About Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh has been on the wrong end of a lot of jokes, and blamed for many losses during his playing days. Now that his career is all but over, it’s time we remember all the good things about Bosh.
In the 2003 NBA Draft, LeBron James was the golden child. A high school prodigy. Darko Milicic was supposed to be one of the best international players in the NBA. Carmelo Anthony had just carried Syracuse to a National Championship. And then there was the fourth pick in the draft, some guy from Georgia Tech named Chris Bosh.
Bosh wasn’t a huge name in college. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets went 16–15 and missed out on an NCAA Tournament bid (something that’s much more common nowadays). He came out of high school as Texas’ Mr. Basketball, a McDonald’s All-American, and a state champion. Despite all the hype, he elected to go to Georgia Tech, partially due to an academic interest in computer imaging and graphic design.
Now, it has been quite some time since Chris Bosh played for the Toronto Raptors, so it can be easy to forget why he was such a targeted player going into the infamous free agency of 2010.
When Bosh joined the Raptors in 2003, Vince Carter was still the face of the team, despite his unhappiness with their struggles. Toronto needed to either get another star to play alongside Carter, or move on. Drafting Bosh was a sign of a new era. Bosh and Carter played together for a year and a half, without much success, before Carter’s situation became uncomfortable enough that he was traded to the Nets.
Then it was Bosh’s time. In his third NBA season, and the first without Carter, he averaged 22.5 points and 9.2 rebounds per game, and was an All-Star selection, establishing himself as Toronto’s alpha dog and new face of the franchise. The following (2006–07) season was the most successful for Bosh in Toronto. The team earned the 3 seed in the playoffs that year, only to lose to the Nets, and Vince Carter, in the first round. But, the season brought hope. Toronto’s first ever division title, a spot on the Second Team All-NBA for Bosh, and believe it or not, some MVP chants.
The rest of Bosh’s time in Toronto was anticlimactic. He continued to be a star, but the team had very little success. When Bosh left, he held the franchise record in almost every statistic. We all know what happened next.
One thing that is forgotten about the free agent market of 2010, is that Chris Bosh was an incredibly coveted target. Rumors had him possibly going to the Bulls, joining another star in New York, or even returning to the Raptors. In fact, Bosh was SO CLOSE to joining the Cavaliers. LeBron wanted him there, Cleveland wanted him there, and Toronto had agreed to the sign-and-trade. It was Bosh, who wasn’t fond of Cleveland, who sparked the move to Miami, and LeBron who followed.
Bosh could have been an incredible franchise player for a team on his own, maybe even could have won a championship teaming up with one other star somewhere else, but instead chose to be the third guy on an incredible team. I don’t think that Bosh ever got enough credit for being willing to do what he did.
Bosh was the comedic relief on a team led by overly serious, psychotic, ring-hunter LeBron James, and laid back Dwyane Wade. He was a fun player, he didn’t care that people made fun of him, he produced on the court and was maybe the best photobomber of all time.
After two seasons in Miami, Bosh was moved to Center, where he did something else that nobody gives him credit for. Bosh was a key part of creating one of the first deadly small ball lineups. A Center who was agile, long, athletic, and could stretch the floor and shoot 3s. Nowadays that’s what many teams need in order to compete. In 2012, he was a rare breed of player.
Bosh was always poked fun at. He does look like a Velociraptor, or an ostrich, or a lizard, but I still have a soft spot for him.
People accused him of not being as good as he should have been with the Heat. It’s the same ridicule most third options get. Kevin Love gets the same kind of hate with the Cavaliers today. The truth is, Bosh was efficient. He did exactly what he was asked to do in the system Miami was running. He rebounded, spaced the floor, played well defensively, had great energy, and let D-Wade and LeBron get enough touches to stay happy and win games. Yet, people will say his 16 points and 8 rebounds every game wasn’t enough. He was one of the most unselfish players I have ever seen when he played for Miami.
And let’s not forget, he saved Miami’s ass in Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals when he grabbed an offensive rebound and kicked it out to Ray Allen for the game-tying shot with 5.2 seconds left. Everyone remembers the shot, but people often forget that rebound and pass. Without Bosh’s effort and unselfishness on that play, Miami goes 1–3 in the Finals during the Big Three Era.
The last thing that makes Bosh so incredible to remember, is that he fell in love with that Miami fan base, and they fell in love with him. Who would have guessed that he would be the last of the Big Three to leave Miami? Now that he has been waived, and Pat Riley has announced that his number will be retired, he will go down in history as a 2 time champion and maybe a Hall of Famer. Bosh may be up there with Dwyane Wade as the most beloved Miami Heat player of all time.
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