TORONTO,ON–Part II is here. Who is the biggest villain in Raptors’ history? A couple of days ago, we presented the Vince Carter case. Now, for your reading pleasure, it is time to look at the second candidate for the notorious honour of being the most hated player in Toronto.
The Chris Bosh Case
Oh, what a legendary draft class 2003 was. The King went number one, Carmelo went number 2, Darko Milicic…wait what?? That’s right, Darko went number 3 to Detroit. Then, in one of the most important draft choices in franchise history, the Raptors selected Chris Bosh with the fourth overall pick.
After being born in Dallas, Texas and playing one year of college ball at Georgia Tech, Bosh made his first ever trip to the Great White North, and stayed for about seven years. We would later find out that when Bosh moved to Toronto, he knew something was different, he knew he was not in the U.S.A, and there was something odd about the cable television in his building, but we’re skipping ahead quite a bit.
Chris Bosh entered the league a tall, lanky power forward, with a face that ironically resembled a dinosaur, fitting for the newest member of the Raptors. After Carter was traded to New Jersey, Bosh became the face of the franchise, and his stats backed it up. He improved significantly every season, culminating in the 2006-2007 campaign when he averaged 22.6 points and 10.7 rebounds. The Raptors won their first ever division title, and it earned their first playoff berth in five years. Subsequently, the Raptors ended up getting knocked out in six games by the Nets led by another hated villain in these parts. But things were looking good in Raptors Land as Bosh continued developing, and a confident, young general manager named Bryan Colangelo led the team.
As the seasons passed, Toronto never lived up that 2006-2007 season. Bosh continued putting up 20-10 type numbers, but he started gaining critics who criticized him for being soft, for not being a real leader, and for not wanting the ball at the end of the game. For all of those apparent weaknesses, his stats sure do say a lot.
By the time Bosh’s tenure in Toronto was up, he was Toronto’s all-time leader in points, rebounds, blocks,double doubles, free throws made/attempted and minutes played. All animosity aside, there is no denying records. Unfortunately, the personal success could not be translated into team success. Colangelo tried to find players to pair with Bosh that could push them to the next level. Between T.J. Ford, Jermaine O’Neal, Andrea Bargnani and Hedo Turkoglu, the Raptors never seemed to form a successful core around Bosh. Some began to think maybe Bosh was the problem. As Bosh’s impending free agency loomed in front of players and fans last season, it became clear that Bosh was on his way out. Bosh’s last season with the Raptors was his best statistically, averaging 24 points and 10.8 rebounds while shooting 51.8% from the field.
At this point, it seems difficult to have any viable reason for hating CB4, but there were some interesting things that transpired from the middle of last season on:
1. At the All-star break last season, Toronto held the fifth seed in the Eastern Conference. A few games after, Bosh falls victim to a stray elbow from Antawn Jamison that causes a facial fracture. Bosh missed several games from what looked like a menial injury. Toronto tailspins, going on several losing streaks while barely maintaining the eighth spot in the East.
2. Bosh is injured for the final few games of the season while the Chicago Bulls are hot on Toronto’s heels for the eighth and final spot in the playoffs. Toronto eventually loses their final game against Chicago and is pushed out and watch playoff hopes wither away. Whispers around Raptor land insinuate Bosh is giving up on the team while looking forward to free agency.
3. During his free agency this past off-season, Bosh starts playing a “Will I, Wont I” game on Twitter, teasing his followers with subtle suggestions that he may be leaving Toronto in free agency. He hires a documentary crew to record meetings with team officials who are courting him. Finally, Bosh sets his Twitter location from “Toronto” to “Everywhere”
4. Bosh finally joins Lebron and Wade in Miami, ending a long over-drawn free agency. Although he thanks Raptors fans on Raptors.com, he begins making curious comments about Toronto to American media sources. He says Toronto was foreign to him, he knew something was different about it and it was not like home. Also, his building in Toronto did not have the “Good Cable” and he couldn’t watch other NBA games.
5. Bosh begins a media spat with Bryan Colangelo after Colangelo suggests Bosh quit on the team. The Raptor fan-base has OFFICIALLY lost trust in Bosh at this point as things get sour.
His departure, and all the shenanigans that followed are still very much entrenched in Canadian minds and have definitely left a bitter taste in Raptors’ fans mouths. Bosh and the Miami Heat made their first stop in Toronto over a week ago, and fans really let him know how they felt,however maybe not as much as expected. Yet, we must return to our original question. Who is Toronto’s biggest villain?
Is it Chris Bosh or Vince Carter? What do you think?
Hit us up with your comments at the bottom of the page. NPH would like to know what Canadians think. Tomorrow, we will post and reply to a few of the best comments, and try to come to a conclusion regarding the biggest villain in Raptors’ history!
Photo Courtesy: NBA.com