Sunday, July 11, 2010

SPORTS: Bosh, Wade and James

Okay, enough questions. Here's my take on Chris Bosh's departure from the Toronto Raptors and the creation of Miami Thrice with his buddies from the American Olympic team, Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. Hope it works as well as Gary Payton and Karl Malone in Laker uniforms.

Childish? Yeah. At least I didn't hope Bosh breaks an ankle and James develops a permanently bad elbow issue. Some things are better left unsaid. Even if true.

Okay, okay. I think, based on stuff breaking Sunday, that this has been a setup for a loooooong time. I like Bosh. I think he's a good kid, turned into a decent man. I thought he handled himself quite well here in Toronto and played hard, save for a two-week period after returning from his post-All-Star Game injury this year. But his behaviour since season's end has been juvenile, almost giddily-girlish. And now, I wonder if it isn't the glee at a long-time plan coming together that has fostered this radical descent into self-congratulation.

Conspiracy theory is easy to expound on, harder, much harder, to prove. There are reported slips of the tongue and a cavalier, "Oh I forgot, thanks to all the fans in Toronto" approach to a LOT of Bosh's public pronouncements this past month. I'm non-plussed over the new haircut, but I'm bugged at the new number. It's like he's in a real hurry to get that CB4 moniker he wore with distinction out of his life, as if it was a yoke or something.

I'm hoping, with fading hope, that this wasn't all planned out. I'd hate to think Bosh shivved Bryan Colangelo. Can you imagine him answering Colangelo's question at the trade deadline last year? "Have you made up your mind to leave?" Colangelo was cooked either way. He couldn't swap Bosh when the Raptors were fifth and eyeing fourth at the time. If he was lied to, then he's covered up well. But imagine the disappointment. If he was told the truth, that being "HELL, YA!," what could he do about it? Nothing.

Some days life sucks. Even for a GM making $4M.

The Raptors are going to surprise in the post Bosh era. Bosh always stopped the offence, once the ball got into his hands. He'd pass often enough to avoid comparisons with Zach Randolph. But generally speaking, he was a sort of black hole, attracting the ball and multiple defenders. Maybe, in the post Bosh world, a little motion offence gets inserted into the Raptor playbook and they become fun to watch.

I hate, absolutely hate, their drafting of Ed Davis. Davis is NOT a replacement for Bosh, favourite player pronouncements aside. He'd fit in so well in MANY offences around the league who need what he is and what he will be, a tough rebounding defender of a good-sized power forward. A complimentary player. Sure, he was the best player available and a SHOCK to be there at the Toronto spot in the draft. But he was the WRONG CHOICE. Patrick Patterson was there too. And that is going to haunt the Raptors for a loooooong while. Had not Colangelo been able to swipe Solomon Alabi in a late draft trade, I'd be madder at Colangelo than Bosh these days.

There are trades coming. Getting Al Jefferson to replace Bosh would be a swap I'd have made last year and would make today and tomorrow. I wonder if Golden State's Andris Biedrins might be available for that trade exception. He's coming off an injury, but he'd be the perfect partner for Amir Johnson at centre for the Raptors. Alabi would then be given time to develop slowly. And Bargnani could move to power forward, his natural position. And I hope, possibly to be frustrated, that Turkoglu ends up elsewhere. It's impossible for him to be as bad as he was last year. But you can't get the stink off 'not trying' no matter what you do. People on lay-off or working two jobs to make ends meet, hate athletes who won't even try to earn a small part of their eight-figure salary. I'd put the booing of Turkoglu somewhere between Carter and Bosh, if he somehow ends up in Toronto red again next year.

One last note. Toronto is demonstrably worse than last year, but is miles and miles ahead of Cleveland, which might never recover. I can see Cleveland being a top pick draft candidate. And I think Toronto will be waaaay better than the Knicks too. There just HAS to be some schadenfreude around the league that the Knicks pooched the past two years (hell, they pooched the entire Zeke years too), only to end up with Amare Stoudamire, some reject Warriors, Ray Felton and a Russian centre nobody's heard of.

Misery does indeed like company ... to look down on.

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