SLAMonline Top 50: Chris Bosh, no. 22

by October 02, 2008

by Chris O’Leary

The youngster’s name rang out through Madison Square Garden, among the most honest and harshest basketball fans you’ll ever encounter. Fourth overall, Toronto bound. The masses, perhaps spent from the jubilation of LeBron and Melo, stayed relatively silent. As he made his way up to the stage with the handshake-happy Sternbot in tow, wondering if the Commish would remember he was a southpaw, two things were evident: the kid needed at least another 20 lbs. and a dermatologist. And with that Chris Bosh settled in under the radar, a jewel in the making, lost in the blinged-out shuffle of the 2003 Draft.

Five full seasons later, it’s safe to say the cat’s out of the bag with Bosh. He’s now a three-time all-star, a YouTube whore, a well-rounded 19 and 9 career power forward and most recently an Olympic gold medalist. Bosh will tuck all of his accomplishments away in the vault at the start of Season 6 though, because he and all of his vlog alter egos know that this is the most important season of his career.

While everything in Toronto might hinge on the knees of Jermaine O’Neal, Bosh will power the Raptors to wherever it is they’re going to go this year. A healthy O’Neal lifts the Raps to higher heights, but should JO catch a case of Penny/Gil-itis, the weight of the world is going to shift over onto Bosh’s shoulders and there’s nothing he’ll be able to do but play through it.

As the days draw nearer to Toronto’s opening night (27 left and counting), Bosh finds himself in an interesting situation. It’s not very often that a 24-year-old with his pedigree—the guy who flat out is the cornerstone of his team—doesn’t have control over how successful that team will be in the coming season. It’s that simple: if Bryan Colangelo’s trade works, the Raps should soar in the East. If it doesn’t, Bosh will be forced to watch as another great individual season gives way to team failure in late April.

A year from now, the basketball world will have a better idea of what Chris Bosh’s future holds. For now, we should sit back and enjoy the show; watch the man start to look like Snoop Dogg the longer his hair gets, and try to remember a time when the mention of CB4 made you think of this before thinking of a guy who can rack on you from the block or win a game on a spot-up J with the clock winding down.

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