Monday February 23 2009 – 3:22pm Eastern (Toronto)

In just over 30 minutes, I’ve already had more than 10 emails come in … asking me about my comments on “The Game Plan” with Jack Armstrong and Doug McLean.

If you missed it, McLean asked me:  “One word … Yes or No … Will Chris Bosh be here long-term?”

Because McLean asked for a “yes” or a “no” … I gave it to him.  My answer …

“No.”

Now let me use this blog to explain my answer.

Doug asked for a one-word answer.  But had I been allowed to give a bit of a qualifier … this what I would have said …

I still don’t think Bosh is going to be moved this summer.  I think Bryan Colangelo will keep the 4-time All Star in Toronto.  In fact, I still think CB4 will sign a max contract with this team when he’s a free agent in the summer of 2010.

However, a year or two into that deal … if the Raptors still haven’t done anything / gone anywhere in the post-season (i.e. – Conference Finals?  NBA Finals?) … then I think he will quietly ask to be moved (much like Vince Carter did) … and the Raps will accommodate his wishes and get the best package they can for him at that time.

The only way I see that scenario NOT going down … is if Colangelo gets a commitment from Bosh THIS summer.  The GM will ask the player if he’s thinking about staying or thinking about going.  If Bosh says he’s leaving – or even hints at that fact that he might go – then, clearly, a move has to be made. 

So, this issue here is McLean’s definition of “long-term” versus my definition (and your definition while reading this) of that same term.  No … I don’t think Bosh is here “long-term” – unless Toronto wins.  Why would he or any other player want to stay with a team that is stuck in neutral?  But conversely, why would he or any other player want to move from a team if the club is moving forward and competing as a top 3-4 team year after year?

I’ve said it before … and I’ll say it again:  Winning cures all. 

Bosh wants to get paid but Bosh wants to win as well.  Thus, “short-term”, I think he IS a Raptor but “long-term” … it’s up to Bosh, the players around him, and the organization itself.  You’ve got to win.  Period.

E. Smith

25 Responses to “My Comments RE: Bosh”
  1. 1.

    Hey Eric,

    I caught that on the radio and I have to applaude the both of you. Doug because he is not shy in going after a tough question, and you for answering it honestly. Great job and no explaination needed!

    Now if it were me… get the bidding war started on Bosh and build us a winner! I really don’t think he has the backbone to take us all the way. He buckles to KG all the time… we need nasty on the 4!

    Cheers!

    - Neil R.
  2. 2.

    I know that a lot of fans have lost faith in BC, but I trust that he will do what’s best for this franchise and I will be shocked if CB is a Raptor next year if he doesn’t sign a long term extension this summer…(for the record, I wouldn’t give him max money but there are at least 20 GM’s in the NBA that would, so, what do I know?)

    - Mr. T
  3. 3.

    Eric,
    Why try and clarify? People are going to take you as trying to spin it. I think we have to give him a reason to be here long term, This year has not been what he wants to be playing for the next 6 yrs or whatever the max is. BC isn’t a dumb guy, he sees what’s not working and he will go back to the drawing board! Once he does tweaks/changes then we win, Toronto will be a location that people want to play with, if we can only have the REAL fans fill the place as opposed to the corporate suits! The place needs to rock to get the opposition shaking in their jocks!! Cheers

    - Lanny from Whitby
  4. 4.

    Doug is the best reporter! AFTER YOU ERIC and Jonezy

    - RAPS FAN
  5. 5.

    So your saying that if the raptors and not a good team this year, next year or the year after that it’s all do to the fact that the team sucks and Chris Bosh can do no harm. How about Chris Bosh is not as good a player as you think. Maby the team sucks when the offence is run through chris bosh not to mention his soft defence. Bosh is the best player on this team but not the most tallented and should not be Toronto’s go to guy with an uptempo style of play. Is Chris Bosh in Toronto’s long term plans, I hope not.

    - Rob from brantford
  6. 6.

    Giving Bosh max money puts the rock in his hands to much. Toronto should be looking to limit his touches and get this gut back to playing defence.

    - Rob from brantford
  7. 7.

    Hey E’

    What’s up with Pops Mensah-Bonsu? Was he not the D league MVP? Why can’t he get to the big show? Is he owned by an NBA team? Raps dept guy?

    - Andre from B Town
  8. 8.

    Two things:

    (1) Eric…did you say “stuck in neutral”? Ahem…look at the Raptor’s performance over the past three seasons (I’m only interested in BC’s contribution years).

    Now…would you say we’re stuck in neutral…the answer is clearly…NO! It’s simply called regression (or, plain-old getting worse).

    (2) THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO REASON TO HAVE FAITH IN BRYAN COLANGELO’S ABILITIES TO REBUILD THIS TEAM.

    If you beg to differ, please give me substantive support for your claim. And I mean hard facts, not just reminding me that he looks good, and has great clothes, and speaks down to people, and seems entirely uninterested in being here, etc, etc, etc.

    I JUST WISH HE WOULD GO HOME, SO OUR TEAM COULD PICK ITSELF UP, AND TRY TO CLEAN UP THE MESS HE HAS MADE.

    - brento
  9. 9.

    Neil R.

    Bosh does not buckle against Kevin Garnet or any great defender. Buckling implies you were there then buckled. Against Kevin Garnet Bosh disappears.

    - Miles
  10. 10.

    Sorry, Eric. I said “Raptor’s” when I questioned if they were stuck in neutral.

    My mistake. I should have said “Raptors’”, instead. Based on my first statement, I was asking you to consider the performance of the Raptors team mascot.

    As far as I’m concerned, the team mascot continues to excel…at an athletic level far superior to that of the actual Raptors players.

    Sorry for any confusion ;)

    - brento
  11. 11.

    Hi Eric,

    What this tells me is that even if we are able to keep Bosh you, personally, doubt Bosh’s ability to have success, or Coangelo’s ability to put pieces around him or the combination of the two. I suppose it’s safe for your readers to assume you are not sold on the core of Bosh, José, and Bargnani. I mean if your answer was based on whether this team can have success in the next 4-5 years, clearly your answer indicates you doubt it. Lucky for you your Lakers, aren’t in such bad shape, eh?

    - dallas
  12. 12.

    You don’t need to explain yourself.

    - Arsenalist
  13. 13.

    I do question that 3some. I have for some time – and have said so in recent weeks and even during that interview today with Doug and Jack.

    I think all 3 have great individual talent. But I question whether or not they have the ‘grit’ or the ‘fire’ to go to that ‘next level’. As I said today, they need another player (or two) that is that ‘sandpaper’ kind of guy. Someone who’ll mix it up and get P.O.’d at times.

    Bosh, Bargnani, and Calderon are nice guys. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But I think you need a balance of players and personalities — can’t have too many jerks … but … probably can’t have too many nice guys either.

    Thus, if that 3some sticks together, the cast that is built around them has to have that edge; that attitude.

    They can succeed as a 3some and as a team … if the right pieces are put in place around them. You have to have a good, deep, TEAM.

    You win as a TEAM in the NBA and in pro sports in general.

    Look at the Spurs …

    As much as it has been Duncan and Ginobili and Parker (and Robinson) over the years, where would they be without Bowen, Horry, Avery, Barry, and now others like Mason, Bonner, and so on?

    The Lakers had the success they had last year because Kobe became a facilitator, not just a killer. He got others involved; and players like Gasol, Odom, Fisher, Vujacic, Farmar, had big post-seasons.

    Ditto for the Celts who maybe don’t go to the top and hoist the title without the contributions of Powe, Posey, and House.

    - E. Smith
  14. 14.

    And, finally, the reason I felt I had to clarify was because I believe my comments are already being misunderstood. This has nothing to do with “spinning” Lanny … or anyone else. I said what I said – and I haven’t once denied it. I just don’t think the answer to the question is a simple cut and dry ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

    I don’t believe Bosh already has one foot out the door and I think it’s ridiculous for some of you to think that he has quit on this team or something. I’m simply saying what I’ve said since October …

    Winning cures all.

    If this team wins, Bosh will find this to be an attractive situation — something he wants to be a part of.

    If this team continues to struggle and stays stuck in neutral, he’ll likely want out.

    Wouldn’t we all break it down in a similar fashion?

    To be honest, the question McLean posed – in the YES or NO fashion – is/was very difficult to answer … because no matter which side of the fence you (or I) are on, there are so many variables/intangibles that could sway the answer one way or another (i.e. – winning VS losing; money; length of contract; endorsements; friends and family; comfort with one team vs another; and so on)

    - E. Smith
  15. 15.

    Brento, we will see if Bryan is truly a capable GM this summer. There are a ton of moves to be made and BC really needs to be creative to drastically improve this team. When training camp begins next October, Bryan will be responsible for all the players on the roster and HIS coach. Until then, i.e. the end of next year, ‘I’ don’t have enough to judge BC as a general manager. (Now, he made a lot of moves in his three years here, some bad and some good…but the moves that he makes this summer to improve this team is what I’ll use to base my judgemnet on BC, and I truly feel he deserves the chance and I also believe that he is capable…but we’ll see, maybe you’re right, maybe he’s a bum…we will all be able to better judge him with the team he brings into training camp next year.)

    - Mr. T
  16. 16.

    Bosh is weak. passive, complacent and arrogant. He constantly talks about how “hard” it is to win, how “it isn’t easy” to play hard every game…..you will NEVER hear Kobe, LeBron Duncan et. al. talk like that…
    Bosh is sanguine about losing…no true champion is EVER that complacent…5 years into your multi million dollar career, you had better damn well have learned the lesson about giving true “effort” on the court..if I have to watch one more scrum with this guy saying he doesn’t know why they can’t play hard all the time…HE DOESN’T, that’s why!
    His passivity has been malignant…Parker and Bosh..you could not find two more insipid captains. I wouldn’t be so hard on him if he hadn’t been arrogant enough to declare himself potential MVP material. Again…something a true champion like Duncan would NEVER say… of course Duncan lets his playing and his success do the talking…but then he has a real coach in Popovich, not a drip.

    Colangelo is totally at fault here. He has screwed up everything he CAN screw up, from the coaching/scouting staff to the roster.
    The worst thing Toronto could do is sign Bosh to a max contract at the expense of a deep talented team, which is probably exactly what they WILL do.
    The idiot media in Toronto will continue their incompetence and wait until he leaves to pretend they knew all the time he wasn’t tough enough.
    There are a lot of players improving every year…Bosh is stagnating..if he doesn’t have a great year next year, he’s going to be in for a disappointment in 2010 when Toronto is the only team stupid enough to give him a monster deal.
    I would trade him for Biedrins, Bellinelli and Anthony Randolph in a heartbeat..but of course the Warriors wouldn’t be so foolish….

    - d57fan
  17. 17.

    Eric,

    Well said. Like your honesty in that straight shot answer, and I think you’re explanation is perfect. Hopefully it works out with Bosh and the Raptors, and Bargnani too because fans are always talking about moving him but I think he’s got it in him to unleash his potential.

    - Shayan
  18. 18.

    For all you who just watching the raptors this season or last would not know that Bosh played well against Garnett while he was with Min. Garnett only became a good defender after being traded to the Celtics. And thats because he has great help defenders and also get a lot of calls going his way. Bosh need some real hard NBA player around him and he will adjust, not some european sponge cake. Raptors were soft before Oakley got here and that what took them to the next level. Did we trade our assets? If you trade Bosh, who would be a better power forward than him?

    - Fan23
  19. 19.

    Raps should have fired Colangelo and kept Mitchell.. We’d be in far better shape imo .

    - Chas Calz
  20. 20.

    Bosh hasnt “QUIT” but in my opinion, his pride and confidence has taken a big hit ever since around the New Jersey OT game when it started to becoming more and more apperent that he could play out of his mind and we would still lose to the middle of the pack teams.

    As far as the ‘big three’ goes… they’re not. Marion is a good addition and if we can keep him for around 8-10 then we definetly should. But we need a penetrator from the perimiter with serious speed.

    I know you hate fantasy trade-talk E, but I’ve been thinking about this one for awhile and I just want to put it out there for people.

    Ellis and Biedrins for Bargnani and Calderon.

    - Chris
  21. 21.

    I would trade Mr. November for Biedrins, Bellinelli and Anthony Randolph in half a heartbeat.

    - Joe N.
  22. 22.

    Wow.. chris there is NO way G.State is going to trade m.ellis and biedrins for bargnani and calderon. the word is getting out around the league about calderon–> GREAT BACK UP POINT –> just above average starting point… and like i said sometime ago bargnani is charile v’s twin.

    Although you maybe headed in the right direction chris in that trading bargnani and or calderon is the best way to get this team headed in the right direction.

    Plan and simple…. if bargnani and calderon are going to be on this team and this team be a REAL contender they both should be apart of the great ‘depth/bench’ that a contending team needs.

    RANDOM THOUGHTS:

    - calderon for b. davis(wouldn’t he look nice in a up and down system.. playing as little defence as calderon but with a few steals every once and awhile)
    - Is it not time to clean house on the raptors scouting team before they waste/kill/blow a another draft
    - And if j. triano is not back as full time coach were do u think they plug him into the organization b/c mlse will NEVER just get rid of him

    - clutch_k
  23. 23.

    Miles

    hahahaha So true! Thanjs for the correction. Too funny, yet too true!

    - Neil R.
  24. 24.

    Clutch i don’t think its so far fetched. That trade would address my two concerns with our team.. perimiter attack pentration/speed from the outside, and having a strong defensive inside presense. simply put, we are BRUTAL defensively. the only above average defender on our roster is Marion.

    - Chris
  25. 25.

    Fan23…you & I have something in common with what you wrote on this blog and trust me it’s true. Bosh needs some NBA thugs around him and not soft European players. I say next season you bring in a new head coach in Avery Johnson, Charles Oakley as an assistant coach in case the head coach gets ejected or unable to attend a game, then you get some hardcore NBA players with attitude to work with Bosh. Guys that are truly hungry to win. Oh…and a new GM and assistant GM in Julius Erving or any other NBA legend who knows to combine a true roster. Therefore, Bryan Colangelo, Maurizio Gherardini as well as the dumb scouts should be gone. No more Euroleague roster in the NBA because that is what’s messing up Bosh’s game. Because really. Bargnani can never be the cornerstone to the Raptors but a big huge curse!!!!

    - Steven
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