There was lots of stuff over Raptors media day but by far the Main Event was CB4 talking to the media for first time in awhile. Finally with his future as the #1 topic and not able to be avoided as some far off event. Maybe it is cause I love the media but this was some classic theater. The media had one simple goal to get an answer to if he will stay or go. Well actually it isn't all that simple. The verbal back and forth was more exciting than some Raptors games this year. At the end of the day we didn't learn a lot more but we did learn some things. Bosh stayed firm in his stance that his mind remains undecided in the face of that being somewhat hard to believe.
The main thing that was cleared up today and this will sadden that ESPN writer that wanted Lebron, Wade and Bosh all to walk and take less money to all play for Knicks. Bosh said that regardless of staying or going that he and Colangelo have an understanding that they will work together. What that means is for all you paranoid folks that have visions of Bosh walking for nothing you can now breath easy. The CB4 Era will end via sign and trade or continue with his resigning with the Raptors. Bosh wants max dollars (not said by him but he does) and made it clear he wants to believe the team he does choose can be a winner and eventually a champion.
When asked if he still had faith in Bryan Colangelo to build such a team and if he still had faith in him do that ?
Bosh said: That is the question that has to be answered in the summer.
So he didn't endorse Colangelo but left the door open to the fact he could be convinced. Bosh even was asked flat out if there was a master plan and he actually knows what he will decide. Bosh said that there was not and I know it seems crazy to believe him but I think I do. That is not to say I don't think he has never thought about this at all. Like I have said in the past that is not realistic to believe that. But has a choice been made. Beyond what he said in terms of agreeing to not screw over the Raptors and himself by leaving 30 million on the table. I don't think so. But are the scales tipping in one direction as opposed to the other? I think Bryan Colangelo has the selling job of his life ahead of him if Bosh is to re-sign.
He was asked if changes needed to be made in order for him to consider returning?
To which Bosh responded that there has to be based on the fact this team was not going to the post season regardless of his situation changes needed to be made. He did not go into detail on what he felt they should be. In fact he said that what they would be or should be he really wasn't sure. So he was not willing or able to present a road map on what exactly this team needed to do to meet his requirements.
But when asked if this team needed to have an athletic swing man to play along side him, he agreed with that. The point was made by the person asking the question that Raptors had never had that. Bosh did not correct him and there real was no reason to because he hasn't.
Bosh said that only twice in his entire life has he had to change his entire life. The first when he choose to go to Georgia Tech and the second to enter the NBA Draft and come to Toronto. Jarrett Jack earlier in the day spoke to how much Chris truly loved the city. Which make no mistake about it, he does and for Bosh this is very much a business decision and that has stayed consistent in his approach to it. Jack obvious wants his friend to remain with him here in Toronto. However, he said whatever Chris decides he will support him. Clearly Jack has been a great pick-up for Toronto on his own merit, but it was also clear he was brought here at least in part for this moment. But it would seem that business and friendship are going to remain separate as they honestly should.
Bosh talked about big moves Colangelo has made with both O'Neal and Hedo. He said on that most folks saw those moves as ones that would have lead to instant success. It has not worked in ether case thought for him or Colangelo. He talked about some of the top teams in the league and how they have been build. He said he is not going somewhere expecting to have instant success because that rarely happens. In terms of Hedo he express trouble in being able to get on same page and communicate. I think what it boils down to his Bosh had bought into what Colangelo was trying to do but it just had not worked out. Safe to say that is part of the mix in working against Colangelo in trying to convince him to stay. If we are to believe that is possible and not decided.
There was also the mention of Vince Carter. Imagine that. Bosh said that he does not quite understand why that is such an issue still to this day. He said that folks have come up to him and said flat out, don't go out like Vince Carter and to stay. Clearly Bosh has learned from the exit of Vince Carter from Toronto. I think Bosh is ever mindful of it. He saw and has seen all that has gone on to Vince Carter in his leaving, and his legacy or lack of one with the Raptors. Everything that Vince accomplished has been devalued to a large extend. He left Toronto in a bad way and still to this day is truly hated by some in Toronto. Bosh to his credit, has done everything possible to distance himself from how V.C was in his final months and days with the Raptors. He has said and done for the most part all of the right things. Should he in fact leave he has done his very best to avoid being the super villain that Carter has become. This speaks to the overall intelligence and maturity of Bosh in comparison to Carter. People can debate numbers and eras and have good points on both sides. However Vince Carter is not nearly as smart, savvy or cerebral as Bosh. Chris Bosh has a much more clear understanding of things than V.C. He learned and observed at what went on and I am pretty sure vowed to himself that was never going to be him.
To a large extent it would appear Bosh has been successful in that. The true test would come in if he actually leaves what the reaction to him will be moving forward. However Bosh has done his best to ensure that it will not be nearly as harsh or venom filled as it is with Carter. His legacy with this organization in my view is important to him regardless of if he stays or goes. I think he takes great pride in the fact he leads this franchise in the stats that he does. He also is said take great pride in the fact that he is the man or the "Franchise" guy. He even admitted that is nice thing to have. Would winning a title mean more to Bosh as a #1 or as something lower down the food chain. He talked about Paul Gasol as an example of a guy that improved his stock by heading to L.A as the secondary guy to that Kobe fellow. So it again appears Bosh is not closing the door to an idea of teaming up with some like a James or Wade. However it would seem all things being equal he would rather he do it on his own if possible as "the guy".
In the end you had a media that wanted the answer to a question that they knew they were not going to have answered. Which is as simple as this....Staying or Going? While on the other hand you had a guy that clearly was not willing to give to much away in his thinking. It was an interesting battle of agendas that made for some great T.V.
I think it goes kinda like this. I went to a high school where rumours were a huge thing. Not sure if it was any worse than any other high school. But that really isn't the point. Anyway, I went away with a a few friends to a cottage I use to have. We spent about a week there. Two of my friends were dating and there was me and another girl, both friends of at the time happy couple. So upon returning I was bombarded with questions about had I had (for the sake of the kids) a "good time" with the girl who went up with me and the couple. This situation would repeat itself about 30 or 40 times at a party I went to after getting back. Finally, I said to person number 41 the following. "Look you know what I am going to tell you the truth and you are going to walk away and believe what you want. So I will save us both the trouble and just tell you to think what you want because you will anyway."
Whatever you thought going into this thing you likely still think. There is nothing Chris Bosh can say, I can say or any reporter can say that will change it. We have all made up our minds on what we think and believe will happen. Chris can say he hasn't made up his mind and there is not to many folks that will believe him . Maybe, just maybe he was like me and is actually telling the truth. Stranger things have happen. The truth for me was nothing happened with me and that girl and we were just friends. But that doesn't make for a very good story does it. Same applies here in the sense an undecided Chris Bosh does not make a good story ether. But just as in my case, people will walk away from today thinking what they want. They will also feel empowered, by trying to interrupt every last word that was said and every last movement that was made. That is just the kind of world we live in. We want to know and we want to know it yesterday.
But the one thing that was very clear is this process is a long way from the finish line and we are not going to know until it is time to know. Which is paraphrasing something Bosh actually said about the topic. We will hear tons of rumors with supposed sources and the whole 9 yards. Oh yeah this off-season is going be a barrel of laughs. Not really but at least we all have had time to prepare for the insanity right?
What was fun for me to watch was the classic confrontation, even though it was very friendly and professional, of the Athlete vs the Media. Both sides representing themselves very well. Bosh is by far the most smart and cerebral minded athlete I have personally come across. He is not just an All-Star on the floor, he is one off it as well in front of microphones. He has come a long way from that skinny kid that came here from Georgia Tech. He has gone from shy and awkward on camera to a true master in front of it. If he is gone, I will deeply miss him as I feel that I have watched something pretty special grow before my eyes. Not just on the floor but off it as well.
But the Good Byes, if they are coming will have to wait awhile. Today was more a case of some high drama theater that was interesting to watch. The rest of Locker Clean Out day lacked any of the drama this did. But will talk about the rest later, from Hedo's halfhearted admission he stunk. To whatever Jose was talking about...defense wasn't one of the things. As well as a pretty confident Jay Triano considering the situation. But none of it compared to this. Bosh trumps all and that was true in the season and will be true in the off-season till his ultimate fate is decided.