Chris Bosh’s tenure with the Toronto Raptors was a roller-coaster ride that reached all-time highs and lows during his seven seasons with the club.
In 2003-04, his rookie season, the Raptors dressed 23 players and by Year 2 Vince Carter was dealt to New Jersey. The Raps won just 93 games during his first three seasons in the NBA before he led the team to its first-ever division title in 2007.
Bosh took over from Carter as the face of the franchise and succeeded in that role. He was a perennial all-star, made an all-NBA team in 2007, and helped lead the Raptors to back-to-back playoff appearances. He also survived a rotating cast of auditioning co-stars that included Mike James, Andrea Bargnani, T.J. Ford, Shawn Marion, Jermaine O’Neal, and Hedo Turkoglu.
When he signed with the Miami Heat in the summer of 2010 he left Toronto as the Raptors’ second-best player behind only Carter — although that list has seen fairly drastic changes over the past few seasons.
Despite the accolades, it always felt as though Bosh flew under the radar and that like many players before him and, says Bosh, at least one since, only received due praise after he left to star in the United States.
Bosh was a guest on the Bill Simmons Podcast this week and, among many topics across a sprawling, two-hour conversation about his career, voiced his frustrations over the lack of conversation outside of Canada surrounding his former team.
“That’s what’s messed up about playing in Toronto … they’re in first place in the East,” he said. “They’re three and a half games behind the best record in the NBA. Nobody’s even talking about it. C’mon! In this day and age where everybody watches their screens everywhere, nobody’s talking about the Raptors.”
To demonstrate his point Bosh brought up the MVP candidacy of DeMar DeRozan, who he played with during the Raptors star’s rookie season.
“DeMar DeRozan isn’t even top-two in MVP [discussion],” Bosh said incredulously. “They’re talking about Anthony Davis before DeMar DeRozan, both deservedly so. [James] Harden’s gonna win it, we know that. But as far as two and three are concerned. …
“Usually in this instance we’re not even talking about it if you’re in first place. It’s not even a conversation. It’s Harden vs. DeRozan, and it’s up to them two to duke in out [in an MVP race]. Nobody’s talking about DeMar, and he’s playing amazing basketball.”
DeRozan is coming off a 42-point performance in Wednesday’s OT thriller versus Detroit and will be matched up with Harden on Friday when the Raptors face the Houston Rockets in a game between the two top teams in the East and West.
Bosh believes the Raptors are as good as their 47-17 record shows.
“I think they can make the Finals,” he said. “They have the pieces, and they have the confidence and they’ve got that teammwork, and they’ve got the spirit of the city… if you have to go in there and win a game, good luck.”
Check out both parts of the podcast in which Bosh also speaks at length about his experience playing with LeBron James in Miami, the Carter trade, and the near-death health scare that sidelined him from the game.