Anybody who knows anything about basketball wasn’t surprised when Chris Bosh jumped ship to the Miami Heat Wednesday.
But because we’ve been “abandoned” again, casual observers and people who don’t know the NBA from an MBA have the opportunity to chime in. Message boards. People on the street. I’m always entertained when people who don’t watch the Raptors give their opinion on the team. Some are die-hard puckheads who hate basketball for various reasons. Many are Toronto sports masochists, who, if they came of age after 1993, are not too familiar with the concept of winning.
The reality is the Raptors are a victim of circumstance. When the franchise-player torch was passed to Bosh in 2004, it meant they had to build a team around a post player, something that unless your name is Tim Duncan, doesn’t really work. You can knock Bryan Colangelo for the moves he has made, but considering the Rob Babcock gong show in place before him, it was stunning the Raptors tasted what little success they did as fast as they did.
The pieces around Bosh never gelled, and they weren’t good enough even if they had. Jorge Garbajosa ruined his ankle. The twin-tower experiment failed as Andrea Bargnani’s consistency never developed.
Colangelo gambled on Jermaine O’Neal, lost, managed to trade him and ultimately turn it into Hedo Turkoglu, a more breathtaking failure. The contractual margin of error in the NBA is tiny. It just wasn’t meant to be. So while Bosh’s tweets may be annoying, you can’t knock him for moving on, even if his act grew more diva-esque as time went by.
He loves being famous, and being famous in Toronto probably isn’t enough. Some of us can lament how U.S. pro athletes love visiting Toronto but don’t want to play here. With no ESPN in Canada, there’s a grain of truth to it. But this was mostly a winning-and-losing call. And more ammo for the city’s sports masochism complex.
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