Now comes Chris Bosh’s turn.
Two months after LeBron James received his enraged embrace upon his post-free-agency return to Cleveland, Bosh gets his turn Wednesday in Toronto.
Amid talk of Raptors fans giving him the Vince Carter treatment (security remains beefed up to this day whenever Vince heads north of the border) and Raptors players talking of putting Bosh on the ground, Bosh remains hopeful of his better days with the Raptors driving the emotions at Air Canada Centre.
“But, at the end of the day, I’m on another team, so that could go a lot of ways,” the Heat forward said Tuesday. “I just have to be ready for anything.”
LeBron seconded that notion.
“He’s seen what I went through Dec. 2,” he said. “He should be prepared. First of all, it would not be as bad as it was for me, for him. But he can expect boos, expect a little hatred from ’em, the fans giving it to him. As teammates, we’ll be there for him.”
James doesn’t see Bosh evoking the same visceral response.
“Chris is a great guy, is very laid back, and I’ve probably never seen people get on him about anything, because he kind of stays to himself,” he said. “He’s not someone that gets in people’s business. We’ll see.”
Like LeBron, Bosh said there are no regrets about his career path.
“I don’t regret anything, because, at the end of the day, I’ve never said anything bad about the city or the organization, and I’ve never felt bad about it,” he said. “Sometimes there’s no good way to separate, or move on.
“You just have to put the past behind you. At no time did I feel that I said anything degrading or bad or acted uncivilized or anything like that. So I’m pretty happy with the way things are.”
If anything, if might be Bosh who arrives with the grudge, after Raptors President Bryan Colangelo accused him of checking out on the team amid a spate of injuries last season.
“It’s disappointing,” Bosh said of that aspect of the return, “I mean, because you know what you did and you know it’s a hard job to play every night, especially with the things that I was dealing with at the time. It was very tough. It was very tough.
“But I came, I competed every night I was out the court when I was healthy. Even when I wasn’t 100 percent, I still went out there and gave it my all. With me knowing that, I don’t have to worry about what other people say. I know good and well what I did and I would never, ever check out of anything.”