The Toronto Raptors will see their first star inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday, as Chris Bosh will become the first player to have played a majority of his games in Toronto that will see his name and legacy immortalized in Springfield forever.
While Bosh’s departure for the Miami Heat left a bitter taste in the mouth of some Raptors fans, that shouldn’t necessarily erase all of the good he did in the seven seasons prior. The unique and dominant forward’s name is still plastered all over the franchise’s record books thanks to his dominant post play.
Even with some of the most eye-popping stat combinations you’ll see from that era, Bosh was unable to bring a championship to Toronto, though he was often surrounded by a substandard collection of role players. Bosh decided to bolt for Miami with a ring firmly on his mind.
In an interview with SiriusXM, Bosh claimed that he wanted to “play on the big stage” as a competitor. Bosh cites players like Kobe Bryant, Kevin Garnett, and Tim Duncan that elevated their standing within the league by getting a ring. Feeling that Miami offered him a better chance to compete, he made the decision to swap Toronto for South Beach.
Chris Bosh left the Toronto Raptors to chase rings.
While the Raptors had a promising young nucleus featuring the likes of DeMar DeRozan, Bosh had correctly assessed the opportunity in Miami top-notch and too good to pass up. Meanwhile, Toronto still hadn’t won a playoff series in his tenure in Canada, and Jay Triano’s team was stuck behind the mighty Celtics and consistent Nets in the East.
Bosh ended up winning two championships alongside LeBron James and Dwyane Wade in Miami, though he had to sacrifice a ton of statistical greatness in order to accomplish that feat. While he got his rings in Miami, that doesn’t mean the seven seasons he spent in Toronto are just dust in the wind.
Bosh’s relationship with Toronto is a bit unusual. The way in which he left Canada is still an open wound that refuses to be sewn shut by some jaded Raptors fans, and the fact that top pick Scottie Barnes was allowed to take Bosh’s old No. 4 shows that Toronto likely doesn’t have plans to retire his jersey anytime soon.
Still, time can heal some wounds, and he is still the greatest power forward or center that the Raptors ever got to witness firsthand. Bosh got his rings with Miami, but the statistical dominance that helped supplement his Hall of Fame case came in Toronto, and he left Raptors fans with plenty of positive memories to relish.