Tuesday February 16 2010 – 10:57pm Eastern – Toronto, ON
This blog was sort of inspired by my man Andre – who left a comment on my Feb. 14 blog/chat in regards to the statement that was made by Charles Barkley during the NBA All Star Weekend.
Barkley, referring to Raptors big man Chris Bosh, said “…Here goes the most underrated player in the NBA …”
Do I agree with Barkley’s comment?
Perhaps “under-appreciated” would be a more fitting term.
Amongst coaches and general managers – and scouts and advisers and what not – Bosh is not underrated. Folks know how good this guy is.
And I don’t know if he’s “unappreciated” … because that would mean that nobody appreciates him … and we all know that that’s not the case. If nothing else, folks in Toronto APPRECIATE Bosh. The fans do … the Raptors organization does. Heck, many in the T.O. media do too.
That’s why I prefer to say that he’s “under-appreciated” … i.e. … not appreciated enough.
That appreciation comes through coverage more than anything else.
Thus, to bring it back to Barkley … he’s somewhat right … in a round about way. His employers – TNT – don’t appreciate Bosh enough. They underrate his talent and lure. Ditto for the Raptors as a whole. And ditto for other major U.S. networks like ESPN and big-time publications and websites like ESPN.com/ESPN The Magazine, SI.com/Sports Illustrated, etc.
Let’s be honest … the last few seasons haven’t been glorious for Toronto — two first-round playoff exits and then last year’s post-season no-show. So TNT and ESPN, et al can’t be skewered too harshly for turning a blind eye to the Raps. However, ignoring Bosh is a different story. He has been the constant. To let him fly under the radar and not respect his game is akin to simply not doing your job. CB4 is one of the top big men in the league – arguably a top 3 power forward – and he’s a 5-time All Star. He has nearly 40 double-doubles this year and he was one of the best players on the USA’s gold-medal-winning team at the Beijing Olympics. Plus, he has helped Toronto to the second best record in the LEAGUE since early December; vaulting into the Top 5 overall in the East.
If he’s still “underrated” after compiling those credentials, then folks south of the border simply aren’t doing their homework. In today’s day and age of satellite/digital TV and every kind of access available ONLINE with the click of a mouse, there’s no reason to not know or value one of the best players in the NBA – whether he’s on TNT’s Thursday night sked (or EPSN’s Monday or Friday night games) or not.
It’s unfortunate that some will only take notice now that Bosh’s looming free agent status is getting the most attention in the headlines — along with a ton of bogus trade rumors and theories about what the Dallas native may do and where he may land in July — as opposed to his (and his team’s) play on the floor.