IN the past I have discussed the importance of a team having multiple stars that have strengths in different areas. Looking at the two teams fighting it out for the NBA title this week both have constructed top heavy squads with serviceable role players. However, it’s the ability of those 2nd and 3rd stars that compliment the likes of Steph Curry, Kevin Durant and LeBron James that play a MASSIVE part in the success of a team. We may never have seen a player fit that mould better than Chris Bosh, who received news this week that his NBA career is likely over.
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AFTER battling blood clotting issues for the better part of three seasons, the Miami Heat have got clarification from NBA doctors that these issues are career ending and threaten his health should he continue to seek a return to the NBA. Giving up has never been part of Bosh’s M.O. though. Ever since he was drafted by the Raptors in ’04 (alongside future teammates LeBron James and Dwyane Wade) we knew he was special. So special in fact that just 18 months into his career with Toronto the team banked on his future and potential by trading Vince Carter to the Nets and handing Bosh the keys to the franchise.
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FROM there tough times met the franchise, however, they were softened by the play of Chris Bosh. Having played in just four playoff series in the franchise’s history before his arrival, Bosh did everything he could during his seven years north of the border to deliver success for the rapid Toronto fans. He reeled off five All-Star appearances and averaged over 22.8 points with 9.9 rebounds during that tenure. The Raps made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons ripping off a then-franchise record 47 win season in ’06/’07. While it was clear that Bosh was one of the premier big men in the competition during that time a lack of support and success led to him famously joining the Miami Heat in 2010 along with his former draft peers.
IT was here that Chris’ career really took off. Not necessarily from a numbers perspective, but finally, he was able to play the 2nd or 3rd fiddle role while Wade/James did the heavy lifting. He took a step back from the roles and responsibilities he was used to shouldering in Toronto and thrived. With so much of the defensive attention on his other star teammates, Bosh was able to do as he pleased, giving the Heat whatever they needed at the time they needed it most. Already a decent shooter, he evolved into Dirk Nowitzki 2.0 hitting three-point shots with regularity, giving Miami the floor spacing that helped them capture consecutive championships. He wasn’t just an over-qualified spot up shooter, he still impacted the game on the defensive end and secured perhaps the most famous offensive rebound in Finals history.
SOMEONE always has to sacrifice numbers when forming a superstar team, as we have seen more recently in the NBA. Although statistics are great for making arguments, comparing players or judging past/present greats they don’t always paint the whole picture. Thanks to the sacrifices Bosh made in his six seasons as a Heat player his numbers don’t jump of the paper as historically great. Once LeBron James left, and eventually Dwyane Wade too, Bosh was still at his 20 PPG best even at the age of 30 and battling all these blood clot issues.
ONLY 30 players in the history of the NBA have been voted to 11 or more All-Star games. Chris Bosh is one of them. Of the other 29, all of them are either in the Hall of Fame, aren’t yet eligible or are still active in the NBA. That places Bosh amongst some elite company alongside names like Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Moses Malone and his former championship teammates. It seems strange to compare him to such great power forwards, but don’t let the stats paint the whole picture. Chris Bosh was elite for the better part over a decade. It’s such a shame that he has to end his career like this, even though there are rumours surrounding a potential comeback. One of the greatest gentlemen of the last decade will make the right choice for his long term health and his family, once again putting others ahead of himself.
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