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.”