For the past few weeks, we’ve been going back and forth with our good friends over at RaptorsRepublic, the premier site for all things Toronto Raptors, about whether or not Chris Bosh will bounce to another team via free agency this summer. After some solid debate, we thought that we would put it online, with both sides making their arguments public for our readers.
Below is Dime’s take. Check it out and then follow the links to Raptors Republic for their side …
After staying up for the Raptors/Lakers game a little while back, one thing became very clear to me: Chris Bosh is leaving Toronto. Not because he doesn’t like the city (which he does) or because he’ll never win a ring there (which he won’t), but because Chris Bosh needs the limelight. That’s something that he’ll never quite get above the border.
If you watched the game that night, Bosh was in his element. With 18,997 fans in attendance (almost 1,200 more than the Raptors average at home), CB4 put on a show. Not that his 22 points on 7-of-18 shooting, seven rebounds and four assists were that impressive, but it’s the 26-foot three-pointer that he nailed with nine seconds left to tie the game that must have made Chris think, “This is where I was meant to be…”
Don’t get me wrong, despite the trade rumors that had Bosh being sent to the Lakers for Andrew Bynum, I’m not necessarily talking about actually playing at the Staples Center. But for a guy with as much star potential as Bosh – an Olympic gold medal winner, 5-time NBA All-Star, social networking king, etc. – playing on one of the game’s largest stages only makes sense.
So before Raptors fans start to charter flights from Toronto Pearson International to New York City to burn down the Dime office, hear me out. It doesn’t matter that you guys can offer the seven-year vet more money than any other suitor, because there are two things that you can’t offer him: a title and fame.
All of this would be different if the Raptors were a legit title contender. That’s why I always go back and forth about whether or not LeBron is actually going to leave Cleveland, because he’s been on the brink the past three seasons. Bosh? He’s never made it out of the first round.
As for the fame, from a marketing standpoint, markets such as New York City, Los Angeles and even Chicago and Houston to a lesser extent are where the money is. In terms of population, here’s how it breaks down: NYC has 8,363,710 people, LA has 3,833,995 people, Chicago has 2,853,114 people and Houston has 2,242,193 people. Yes, I know Toronto has a population of about 2.5 million people, but there is a difference. It’s called the Madison Avenue/Rodeo Drive factor.
If Bosh played for the Knicks, because there’s so much more media in New York or Los Angeles, he has that much more of a chance to become a superstar. (Think of how everything A-Rod or Kobe does becomes national news.) As Dime’s Austin Burton once pointed out, “Why do you think Eddy Curry is a national joke while Sean May isn’t so much; because Curry plays for NY. Why was the Marbury drama so big nationally while nobody ever talked about Jamaal Tinsley? Because Steph played for NY.”
Even Tracy McGrady (someone all Raptors fans have a love/hate relationship with) can see Bosh leaving the Toronto for any number of “different reasons.”
“He’s been here for quite some time now,” McGrady told Frank Isola of the NY Daily News a few weeks ago. “He personally has been successful. The team really hasn’t done that much. Maybe he wants to start off fresh with another franchise. Or maybe he’s doing it for tax reasons.
“I’m not speaking (for) Chris Bosh. I’m just saying, the individual that wants to move on … there are different reasons why a guy wouldn’t want to play (in Toronto).”
Sure Toronto isn’t technically overseas, but TSN is not ESPN. That’s a fact. When Wayne Gretzky was traded from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings, despite hockey being the national sport in Canada, he went from being a great player to The Great One. And that’s something that Bosh knows he’s capable of. And that’s why this will be his last season in Toronto.
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