Against Toronto Raptors fans, no less! I never thought I’d dedicate a post to Toronto, especially on a day as holy as this(National Kobe Day). However, I feel like Bosh is taking a lot of heat from his fans that he shouldn’t be taking. After checking out one of the most popular and up-to-date Raptors sites on the web, I found out a lot that I didn’t know.
Apparently, Chris Bosh is a terrible defender. Wait, I already knew that. The guy doesn’t get paid for his defense, he gets paid to put the ball in the basket and grab some rebounds. SOME rebounds, not ALL rebounds. There’s a difference. We can all agree that rebounding is a part of defense; so when the guy takes criticism for his lack of rebounding AND his less-than-stellar defense, it becomes redundant. Toronto executives knew what they had with Bosh after his first few years.
Seriously, we’re talking about a guy who, before this year, has averaged double digit rebounds only twice since entering the league in 2003. This year, he’s averaging a career high in rebounds. Once again, rebounds are a part of defense. A lot of the attacks coming from Raptors Republic were about how Bosh holds the ball on offense, which causes stagnation, and about how he couldn’t stick with Andrew Bogut.
First, Bosh is the best player on a team of over-paid guys that would be the third-to-fourth best players on a contending team. His skillset offensively should not come into question, because there’s no way you can score 44 points(January 20th) without having some type of game. There isn’t another player on that team that can do what he does consistently, and therefore I don’t blame the guy for taking matters into his own hands. The problem with Bosh is that he’s never going to be the number one guy on a championship team. It’s just not in the cards for him.
He’s a unique build; an under-sized big man(they list him at 6’10”, but the guy’s a tall 6’8″ in my estimation) with the skills of an elevated number two guy on a championship team. He’s almost a no-man’s land type of player, because he tantalizes you into thinking he can be a number one with his impressive but empty statistics on bad teams, and at the same time he has more skills than the traditional second fiddle. He’s a rare breed of player, and a very confusing one for coaches and general managers because it’s hard to determine how much to pay a guy like that.
I’m surprised he hasn’t had one of those moments often seen in movies/shows where the teenager tries to stop the parent from living vicariously through them. I can just see it building inside him as he finally explodes: “STOP IT! STOP IT! Can’t you just understand that I’m never going to be who you want me to be! Just let me live my own life! ::throws the basketball into the wall::” I mean, it’s not a dramatic moment until something breaks, right?
Second, like I said earlier, the Raptors executives knew what they had with him. He was never going to be the guy that routinely snatched down 15 rebounds a game, because it’s just not in his DNA. He’s also not a lockdown guy. Bosh is not going to shut down an explosive offensive big man, especially when he’s guarding guys above his own weight class. The crap he takes for his inability to do so should be a reflection of bad management, not Bosh’s deficiencies.
If not for bad draft pick choices and free agent signings, the Raptors and their fans wouldn’t have to worry about a guy like Bogut(who is a legitimate 7-footer) scoring over Bosh at will. The Raptors should have invested in a legitimate center, not a Dirk Nowitzki-wannabe(Andrea Bargnani), and covered up Bosh’s weaknesses on the court. That’s how championship teams are made: with super stars, good chemistry, good defense, and guys that take off some weight from the super stars’ shoulders and don’t make fatal mistakes.
Chris Bosh plays on a team full of foreign-born players who aren’t known for their defense. The best players on his team are all offensive guys, so of course the offense is going to get stagnant when he has the ball. I do agree that the team needs to find a better way to mesh offensively, but I do not agree that Bosh should be blamed for the team’s weak defensive rating.
Call me a softy, but I think the problem here isn’t with Bosh, but instead with the responsibilities put on him by management, on top of their inability to get him the kind of help he needs. Bosh doesn’t need another big man that lives on the perimeter, he needs another big man that can make little guys think twice about venturing into the paint, or keep opposing bigs from setting up on their sweet spots. Bosh doesn’t need a 6’9″ small forward to handle the ball when he has two solid point guards(who albeit haven’t played especially well this season); he needs a 6’7″ swingman who can knock down the three ball, slash, and defend the opposing team’s shooting guard or small forward.
Bosh is not a number one guy. He’s a glorified number two guy that might not be able to fully self-actualize until paired with a legitimate number one guy. Give ’em Dwayne Wade and see how much flack he takes then. Seriously.
I write this knowing full well that any Raptors fan will probably refute everything I just said, but I don’t care. I fight for injustice, like Martin Luther King, Jr., only without the doctorate. And without graduating from college at like 15. And without the historically significant cause. Oh, and without the tremendous rhetoric or ability to change the world.
Okay, I’m nothing like him, but I can say his name 10x’s fast without going into anabolic shock, mostly because I’m not a diabetic. Yet.