The prodigal son returns: three reasons Chris Bosh will get booed at the ACC tonight
Chris Bosh returns to Toronto tonight for the first time since he took his talents to Miami to create the Super Team with pals LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. In keeping with a time-honoured local tradition, there’s little doubt the boo-birds will be hooting at full force when the former Raptor takes to the floor of the ACC. The game is sold out, and it’s not because the 15-40 Toronto Raptors are oh-so exciting to watch.
Now, we’re not necessarily concerned whether Bosh deserves the city’s collective scorn or not, but there’s good booing and there’s bad booing, and it’s easy to get caught up in the latter. Other NBA players have set the bar pretty high recently: Oklahoma Thunder forward Kevin Durant dubbed Bosh “the fake tough guy” and former Chicago Bulls great Scottie Pippen called Miami’s Big Three the “Big Two and a Half,” because Bosh is half the player James is.
With all that in mind, we have a list of stories from the Bosh era to help tonight’s ticket holders maximize their heckling experience.
1. Foul! Insensitive use of Twitter
Even Vince Carter had more sense than to tweet his way out of town. Instead Bosh delivered his social media bomb—the infamous “Should I stay or should I go?”—over Twitter, and it rankled more than a few Raptors fans. He may be the team’s all-time best scorer and rebounder, a six-time all-star and a pretty funny guy, but that small blip cost him a lot of credibility.
2. Foul! Checking out midway through last season
GM Bryan Colangelo maintains that that Bosh was a different player after the all-star break last year and once even characterized the Bosh-Raps relationship as a particularly “expensive pair of handcuffs.” Also, head coach Jay Triano’s thoughts on Bosh’s leadership didn’t make him look so good: “When you talk about Chris being the leader in the locker room, I think it’s the one thing that he wasn’t for us…. Chris did not really take the leadership role into the locker room.”
3. Foul! Acting like nothing happened before he was on primetime U.S. television
Apparently, Bosh really wanted to be on TV. Once he left Canadian backwaters and found the American promised land, Bosh insinuated that what had transpired for seven years in Toronto didn’t count. When it comes to big-time American sports like basketball and football, he may have a point—but it still wasn’t the smartest thing to say. His words: “Really, it’s all about being on TV at the end of the day. Seriously. A guy can average 20 [points] and 10 [rebounds], and nobody really cares. If you don’t see it [on TV], then it doesn’t really happen.”
A lot of people didn’t think much of the way Bosh exited Toronto—in other words, it’s not that he left, but how he left. He’s moved on to a 40-15 team with genuine title aspirations, while the Raptors have slowly descended to the bottom of the standings. He makes about a bazillion dollars a year and most of the people in attendance at the ACC tonight probably don’t. Chris will be okay after the game, despite the booing. Let’s just hope he remembers that tonight belongs to the fans.
• Raptors unfazed by prodigal son’s return [Globe and Mail]
• Onus on fans to give Chris Bosh a hard time [Globe and Mail]
• Will Raptors fans boo Chris Bosh? [Globe and Mail]
• Bosh didn’t have leadership skills [Toronto Sun]
• Bosh prepared for return to Toronto [Toronto Sun]
• NBAs new world order [National Post]
• “Bring it on”: Bosh [Toronto Star]