Discrediting and ripping the big star that left town is a tradition in Toronto that goes back to the time of Vince Carter and Tracy McGrady. But old traditions are sometimes the most comforting, the thing that is needed.
Take for example Raptors General Manager Bryan Colangelo insinuating Chris Bosh was already mentally checking out condos and clubs in South Beach while the Toronto Raptors faded down the stretch last season. That’s what he told the FAN 590 (as reported by the Toronto Sun).
“Whether he was mentally checked out or just wasn’t quite into it down the stretch, he wasn’t the same guy. I think everybody saw that, but no one wanted to acknowledge it.”
“At the same time, I never felt we were quite in the game (in terms of signing Bosh to a new contract). There was too much out there, too much built up for him to take an easy out here, and he decided to do that.”
Before free agency started, Bosh was the one player everybody thought was gone. He was a star barely known by the casual fan, someone who seemed to feel hidden up in Toronto. Which frustrates a passionate fan base there, but Bosh saw his contemporaries deep in the playoffs and deep in endorsement deals, and he wanted those things.
However saying he wanted out and saying he mentally checked out before the season ended are two different things. Colangelo thinks Bosh may have been looking out for No. 1 at the end.
“Despite limited swelling and any excessive damage on an MRI, he felt like he needed to sit for six more games … I’m not even questioning Chris’ injury. I’m telling you he was cleared to play subject to tolerance on his part, and the tolerance just apparently wasn’t there and he chose not to play,” Colangelo said.
“The fact that our season was spiraling downward and we were hoping he’d come back sooner and we were also dealing with a few other things at that point … we were really struggling there.”
Once again, Kobe Bryant‘s career arc is being compared to Michael Jordan’s.
There’s a lot of reason’s that’s flawed — starting with Kobe being drafted on to a Lakers team that had Shaquille O’Neal and was already considered NBA elite, as opposed to Jordan working to build a franchise up. That said, Kobe has invited the Jordan comparison at times and it has been a constant through is career. Fair or not.
Kobe is coming back this fall after seasons of injury to the NBA and those comparisons continue — now to the Wizards’ version of Jordan. And Kobe is not at all fond of that, as he told Sam Amick of the USA Today.
“This is uncharted territory,” he said. “My 37 (years old) isn’t MJ’s 37 (when he returned after taking two seasons off to play for the Washington Wizards), you know what I mean? Nor is it the same team or the same system that he was playing in. It’s much, much different. There’s really no barometer, no (precedent) for training physically, for recovery. It’s uncharted territory.”
Kobe is right. Jordan had four+ seasons off by the time he was 37 and was not coming off multiple major surgeries.
Kobe is entering his 20th NBA season and what any real basketball fan should wish for him is health. Let him play one full season (with limited minutes and nights off), let him get to the final game of this season next April and make his own decision on his future. Let him leave the game on his own terms.
That said, if Kobe can average Jordan’s numbers at that age — 22.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and 5.2 assists per game — it will be a major accomplishment, and the Lakers will have a better record than many of us expect.
And Kobe may want to play a 21st season as well.
MILAN (AP) — The Boston Celtics eased to a 124-91 victory over Olimpia Milano at the Mediolanum Forum on Tuesday, comfortably winning the first of a double-header in Europe as part of the NBA Global Games.
Isaiah Thomas led the way for the Celtics with 18 points, including nine in his first seven minutes after coming off the bench midway through the first quarter.
Jared Sullinger added 14 points, as did Avery Bradley, who also had four three-pointers, while David Lee weighed in with 13 as well as seven rebounds and three assists.
Alessandro Gentile – who is reportedly wanted by the Houston Rockets, who hold NBA rights to the 22-year-old – top scored for Milano, with 19 points.
Next up for the Celtics is Real Madrid in Spain on Thursday.