Not too many years ago, Vince Carter forced his way out of Toronto. And by “forced” I mean he quit on the Raptors in such a complete (and dispicable) fashion that they had no choice but to trade him…after which he immediately started trying again and helped propel the New Jersey Nets to the playoffs. I mean, how do you explain a healthy player going from 15/3/3 to 27/6/5 while increasing his three-point shooting accuracy a full 10 percent? Vinsanity didn’t just stick a knife in Canada’s back…he twisted it and poured in some lemon juice for good measure.
More than a few Canadians are still bitter about that betrayal.
Is that kind of ugliness happening all over again with Chris Bosh? Last week, Bosh asked his Twitter followers: “Should I stay or should I go?” Then, according to the Toronto Sun, Bosh attended the Lakers-Jazz game on Monday and changed his Twitter account location from “Toronto” to “Everywhere.”
What’s more, he’s no longer a Raptors team captain.
I’m not suggesting Bosh has made any kind of definitive decision about his future, but it sure feels like a passive-aggressive Facebook breakup, doesn’t it? And Bosh’s recent behavior sure hasn’t endeared him to a once-loving fan base.
According to Chris Young of the Toronto Star: “For Raptors fans and officials, who have watched the likes of earlier stars Damon Stoudamire, Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter leave town, it’s déjà vu. The only change is the technology, and perhaps that checkered history to soften the blow. There will be moony-eyed Toronto fans, for sure, but given the general level of cynicism surrounding a club that has missed the playoffs the last two years with Bosh at the wheel, it’s a safe bet there’s not a lot of wet eyes in the average Raptor fan’s house. Or as one Twitter follower of Bosh put it: ‘Why is Chris Bosh slowly breaking up with us via Twitter? Get your s— and leave, Chris. I think we’re all done here.'”
Fortunately for Bosh, NBA fans in general have a pretty short memory. Just ask Lakers fans, who quickly forgave (and, apparently, have completely forgotten about) Kobe Bryant’s trade demand and subsequent childish behavior in the summer of 2007. If Bosh re-signs with the Raptors and continues to play both hard and well, the people will forgive and love him.
However, if Bosh is looking for an “out” of sorts, he’s got it. Fostering a sense of resentment in Toronto would certainly make leaving the Raptors much easier. Bulls fans should hope Bosh’s turnoffs don’t include front office instability.