The Roar of a Raptor: Has Chris Bosh Emerged As the Problem of Toronto?

Bobby KezneikCorrespondent IMay 26, 2010

Christopher Weston Bosh, which by the way is his full name, has easily grown into as the best player to ever throw on a Toronto Raptor uniform.

Whether it was the hideous half purple half black uniform, or the green St. Patrick's Day Uniforms.

Bosh has enhanced his game on-to another level through-out his career and the achievements and accomplishments he has reached are to hard to argue that he is not the best player in the franchise history.

"CB4" as fans like to call him, was first noticed back in his college days when he was a student at Georgia Tech.

Bosh spent just one year in College (freshman year) and was a shining star on a very below average team. The 6'10" freshman produced very impressive numbers averaging a rugged 15.6 points, nine rebounds, and two blocks per game while piling up big minutes (31 minutes per game).

If those college numbers don't convince you, well how about that he shot 56 percent from the field and an astonishing near 50 percent from long distance! (47.8 percent to be exact).

With the draft inching closer, and the Toronto Raptors having the luxury of picking fourth out of 30 teams in the draft, Chris Bosh, like many other prospects, were on the radar of the Toronto Raptors.

Considering the fact that the 2003 NBA Entry Draft was one of the deepest draft classes in the history of the NBA, and the fact that Chris Bosh was right up there with the likes of the NBA stars of today Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, and Dwayne Wade, really fore-casted just how good Bosh was projected to be.

What's even more audacious is that the Toronto Raptors did end up selecting the freshman out of Georgia Tech with the number four pick, ahead of Dwayne Wade, who many believe is the best player in the NBA outside of the Kobe-LeBron debates.

Now that really speaks dimensions to just how good Chris Bosh was anticipated to turn out.

Beginning the 2003-04 NBA season, Chris Bosh was put into the mix right away and was forced into one of the bigger roles on the team, starting in 63 of the 75 games he played in and averaged a padded 33.5 minutes per game.

Bosh's numbers as a rookie were quite impressive, averaging nearly a double-double with 11 points and 7 rebounds a game, along with a solid 45 percent from the field. And it ended up paying off as he was named to the NBA All-Rookie team.

Day after day the Toronto Raptors looked like a team on the rise with a tandem of Carter-Bosh which proceeded to seeing big things in the future of Toronto.

Conversely, the days of "Air Canada" ended before Carter and Bosh could even prove the NBA that they can be dominant.

The Toronto Raptors traded away their star player, putting all the weight on "CB4" and making him the corner-stone player of the Raptors franchise in just his second season in the NBA.

Bosh's numbers, did not disappoint in his sophomore season. Chris Bosh started in every single game he played during that season and averaged about just 11 minutes on the bench per game, which if you do the math, is 37 minutes on the floor.

The Texas native posted a solid 16.8 points per game and was a rebound away a game from averaging a double-double.

Al-though Bosh's game improved individually, he and the Toronto Raptors were not successful, posting a losing record and not contending for the NBA Playoffs in the 2004-05 NBA season.

In the following season, Bosh was named to his first ever All-Star game.

As Bosh continually improved during the years, so did the Toronto Raptors.

Toronto would qualify for the NBA playoffs for the first time in the "Chris Bosh ERA" in 2007 with an impressive 45-37 record. Toronto took honours of being the division champions, ahead of Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and New Jersey.

Chris Bosh was again voted on-to the Eastern Conference All-Stars and was named to the all NBA team (second team).

However, the good times would end quickly in the post-season when the Raptors were ousted by the -at the time rivals- New Jersey Nets in six games.

In the 2007-08 regular season, "CB4" yet again took home individual accomplishments, but it turned out to be the same old story as the Raptors did qualify for the post-season, but were eliminated in a quick five games against the Orlando Magic.

After that series, many people started questioning Bosh's ability to lead a team deep into the NBA playoffs.

So, Raptors GM Brian Colangelo made an attempt at surrounding the star player with the best possible team-mates.

Colangelo acquired big man Jermaine O'Neal to play the post with Bosh and head coach Sam Mitchell even compared them two to the twin towers in San Antonio back in the early years of the decade.

However, the acquisition turned out to be anything but beneficial.

O'Neal did not live up to the hype, and was later traded away for Shawn Marion, in another attempt to surround Bosh with the right player(s).

Again, it did not work, and the Raptors missed the NBA Playoffs for the first time since 2006.

This season, Bosh elevated his game to the next level and recorded a career high 24 points per game. Things looked great for the Raptors in the mid-way point of the season when they were just a few games back of fourth place in the Eastern Conference, and the Raptors were almost a sure thing to make the NBA Playoffs.

However, injuries took a toll when Bosh went down with injury the first game back from the All-Star game.

The Raptors had an incredible collapse late in the season and ended up missing the NBA Post-Season by just one single game.

Now, Bosh is a free agent, he's given Colangelo a list of five teams, including the Toronto Raptors, and many believe that his days in Toronto, are surely over.

Regardless, as a Raptor fan, I sincerely hope Bosh returns.

However, is it in the Raptors best interest to trade him away? Possibly, depending on the amount of value they acquire in return.

Stay or leave, Raptors fans across the nation thank you for the memories.


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