Image by RICHARD LAUTENS/TORONTO STARAs Chris Bosh was set to leave the floor after a victory over his former team, he made his way to centre court, and the booes that started in the first quarter began to surface again. He faced the Union Station side of the Air Canada Centre, and thanked the fans by waving his hands and blowing kisses. Most of the booes turned to cheers as he continued to thank the crowd.
“One bad move doesn’t erase seven years” proclaimed Bosh in his post-game interview.
Drafted in 2003, Bosh soon absorbed the team that the once beloved Vince Carter had abandoned, with nothing but positive energy. After three years of a losing record and not making the post-season, Bosh committed to the future of the franchise by re-signing with the Raptors for a three year deal (with a fourth year option). During that season, Bosh led the team to the third best record in the eastern conference, and gave the Raptors fans a playoff berth for the first time in five years – restoring pride into the Toronto sports community. It was an exciting time for Toronto fans as the sea of red had their chance to watch the team that Bosh had given them, battle against no other than Vince Carter. The Raptors lost a heart-breaking game six by one point to end their playoff run. After losing the series 4-1 the following year to the Orlando Magic, the Raptors were never the same again. The team tried to scramble by bringing in former stars, including Jermaine O’Neal and Shawn Marion, and tried different coaches in Sam Mitchell and Jay Triano, but there were no solid pieces to surround the star player that Bosh had developed into. During Bosh’s time in Toronto, he made sure to give back to the community as he developed the Chris Bosh Foundation, donated $1 million dollars to a Toronto charity, known as Community Legacy Programs, and pledged $75,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Canada.
Chris Bosh, like Roy Halladay, left at the end of his contract to begin a new career on a contending team. Despite all that he gave to the franchise, the franchise didn’t give much back in return. Perhaps Bosh's interviews and choice of words weren't always the best, but does that really change what he did for the franchise and for the city?
Seven years of unproductivity by a team overall, he deserved to move on – just like Roy Halladay.
It’s safe to say that the fans were booing because they were frustrated, and Bosh was the perfect outlet. Frustrated by the fact that in Bosh’s tenure as a Raptor, the team had a losing record of 254-320 and made the playoffs in only two of his seven years, frustrated that he departed for a team that the Raptors could have been, and most of all, they were frustrated that the only player on the team in the past seven years that actually made a difference, had left them with a team that now has no direction. In the end, it wasn’t Chris Bosh that the fans were really booing. It was Bryan Colangelo.