While there are a fair share of Raptor fans who would rather just move-on and ignore the Bosh situation, the actuality is that the situation is completely unavoidable.
He will be booed and heckled mercilessly – and quite frankly, I’m just excited that there will be a play-off type atmosphere at the Air Canada Center for the first time in a long time. By the way, it’s not too late to vote.
Be it rightfully or wrongfully, Chris Bosh will be the 5th player in Raptor fan’s history to be booed. Ranked by epoch: Bosh follows Mickey Mouse, T-Mac, VC, and Hedo.
Ranked by important to the franchise? He’s right after Vince.
Indubitably, Bosh doesn’t want to be booed, but he certainly expects it.
“I’m on another team,’’ Bosh said. “I would like it (to be liked) because that’s like a fairy tale ending or beginning, but that might not be the case… I’ll be ready for anything.”
So how do the players feel?
From The National Post
“I wouldn’t boo him.. It’s just a basketball game and he just made a business decision. It wasn’t like a personal decision. It was just he wanted to play for the Miami Heat.
“It’s not a loyal business. Kareem-Abdul Jabbar played for two teams, [Michael Jordan] played for two teams, so there’s no loyalty in the business. This is a business.”
- Reggie Evans
“The only thing I can say is … he was a great teammate, a great friend, he played really good for us and gave us a lot of wins.. I wasn’t here when everything happened in the summer, so I don’t know what was going on.
“I think he did a lot of good things for this organization.”
- Jose Calderon
“He decided to move on and I haven’t taken it personally.. It’s just something he decided to do and that’s one of the reasons we have free agency. I’m not about to make this about anything more than a game against a very good team, maybe the best team in the Eastern Conference.”
- Jay Triano
“I have no idea,” Bargnani said when asked if he expects Bosh to receive a rude welcome from fans. “I hope not. He was my teammate. I played with him for years. I was good with him. We were cool.”
Bosh was on the FAN590 this morning; and he basically addressed the fact that anything he has said that seemed disrespectful towards the organization and/or the city was not true and stemmed from the media putting things out of context to stir the pot.
Regardless of if he deserves to be booed or not, I’m all for tepefying the atmosphere at the Air Canada Center.
Anything that gives our team a boost or unsettles an opposing player.
But here’s the deal.
I’ve said before that heckling opposing players only makes them play better – as Raptor fans, we know this best. I’ve also asserted before that I don’t believe Bosh is the type of player who can fuel off of the badgering. However, he proved me wrong on Sunday – scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds while listening to the bumptious Celtic crowd taunting him.
Biggest fear? This becomes a carbon-copy of Lebron’s return, where Miami absolutely plastered the Cavs silly. The Cleveland fans quickly had very little to cheer about.
My hope? We can already testify that Raptors fans > Cavs fans – in terms of generating loud atmospheres. That alone might be enough to put Bosh off his game.
Should be an interesting one. Stay tuned for the full-game preview on Raptors Watch.