Top 50: Chris Bosh, no. 13
The definitive ranking of the NBA’s best players.
by Justin Walsh
There’s not much to say about Chris Bosh that hasn’t been said. He’s from Dallas, he gets no respect for his skill-set and he looks exactly like a dinosaur. So let’s get to brass-tacks.
He is thinking about free-agency. The general consensus in Toronto is that this year is make-or-break for his future in Toronto beyond this season. He wanted a better team.
GM Bryan Colangelo responds by completely changing the makeup of the roster, fortifying the midrange with athletic, solid forwards. He brings in a score-first guard in Jarrett Jack to bring a change of pace (in contrast to Jose Calderon) on the second team. He pulls a series of wild trades off to get the Turkish Jordan. He signs Bargnani to a long term deal, and then picks up Amir Johnson to bring hustle and athleticism to back him up.
This team is a series of yin-yang couplings, set for the next 3-5 years. The team looks better than it has in years. They are athletic, with a mixture of youth and veteran wisdom. On one end, you have DeRozan, the epitome of youth in the NBA. He’s charismatic, athletic, probably in over his head at this point. On the other end of the spectrum, you have Rasho Nesterovic- he’s an NBA champion, there to provide locker-room leadership and an example for the young-bucks to follow. Where’s Bosh? Somewhere in the middle, holding it all together.
…For now. Yes, Bosh noted he’s pleased with how coachable the team is, but there have been no kneejerk reactions to sign that contract with Toronto yet. He’s been there. He’s done that.
He’s in a unique situation. He can play coy and not answer the contract question without getting the “Hey LeBron, stop being a douche and answer the question,” treatment. Why? Because he’s not a super-star.
Bosh isn’t a top 5 player in the NBA. He’s one of the best 15 players in the NBA. He’s a franchise player. But he’s not a player that your franchise rides or dies on. Yes, there is a difference. See, Bosh is a player you can anchor your team around, give him max-contract money & expect him to help the community. But you need to put solid players around him to go deep in the playoffs. And you aren’t allergic to hearing trade offers. He’s 22 points, 10 rebounds, great in the locker-room. But he isn’t making Doug Collins sleep with his rookie card next to his bed like he probably does with that mint condition LeBron from Topps. He isn’t going to take over an entire series and give you the worst facial expression ever (Hey Kob’). That’s not a diss. He’s just not the droid you’re looking for.
Now that we have that cleared up, we move onto the trials and tribulations of being ‘’the guy.’’ Wait, what trials? If the team succeeds, he gets the credit. If they fail, surely that can be pointed to the fact that this team is almost completely new. The cats don’t even look at home in their jersey’s yet (remember how perverse AI in a Piston uni’ was?).
If he stays, he is anointed a loyal import to Canada, the crowd goes wild. If he leaves, you won’t see the Vince Carter-esque hate upon departure. Even without Bosh in the lineup, the Raptors have such promise in the next few years. Either way, Canada has mad hope for their Raps. Instead of having to worry about the drag of an entire country possibly dogging him all year, he focuses on his game. He puts on 20 pounds of muscle in the past 2 months. He’s gone from string-bean to get-big, ashy-to-classy, etc. What does this all lead to? Money. Max-Contract, G-5, Gordon Gecko quotes, wiping your ass with the Benjamins—the works.
Chris Bosh is going to get ‘the coin.’ He’s going to get paid an absurd amount of money to play basketball with his next contract. This is the last year Bosh will truly be dying for that cheese. After this, he’ll have that guaranteed contract. Anything after that is just for the game. So this is it. We’re going to see Bosh enter into his prime. He’s going to be better than last season. He’s going to be better than just about every power forward in the game this year. It may not get better than this, so let’s enjoy. Do you doubt Chris Bosh, the career 20 points-10 rebounds-80% from the line PF? Don’t.
When he was in Dallas, givin’ wreck at tournaments in HS, college scouts were enamored with his skills… but they fashioned him as a 4 year college guy, rotation player in the League. He was in the League after one campaign for Georgia Tech. When he entered the League, analysts questioned his ability to play in the post with his sleight frame. His career scoring average is 20 points per. 10 rebounds per. Now cats are questioning if he can make the next step & take a team deep in the playoffs. More doubters. We never learn.
• Rankings are based solely on projected ’09-10 performance.
• Contributors to this list include: Jake Appleman, Brett Ballantini, Russ Bengtson, Toney Blare, Shannon Booher, Myles Brown, Franklyn Calle, Gregory Dole, Emry DowningHall, Jonathan Evans, Adam Fleischer, Jeff Fox, Sherman Johnson, Aaron Kaplowitz, John Krolik, Holly MacKenzie, Ryne Nelson, Chris O’Leary, Ben Osborne, Alan Paul, Susan Price, Sam Rubenstein, Khalid Salaam, Kye Stephenson, Adam Sweeney, Vincent Thomas, Tzvi Twersky, Justin Walsh, Joey Whelan, Eric Woodyard, and Nima Zarrabi.
• Want more of the SLAMonline Top 50? Check out the archive.