Alright Raptors fans, sit down, relax and take a deep breath. The recent trade rumors swirling around Raptors franchise player and All-Star forward Chris Bosh are NOT true. During interviews conducted this morning by numerous members of the Toronto media, both team GM Brian Colangelo and Bosh himself quickly shot down such rumors following this morning's practice, seeming just as shocked about the reports as the rest of us.
The center of this media frenzy appears to have multiple origins. Obviously there is the gross underproduction of the team itself, going 19-30 thus far, far below their own and even the league's standards. There were those that thought before the season began that the addition of former All-Star center Jermaine Oneal to the Raptors front court would create a type of "twin towers" scenario, similar to that of teaming David Robinson and Tim Duncan with the Spurs in the late nineties. Expectations were high, but thus far production has been low.
However, the man culprit in this plot to spew false information and get under people's skin, is someone who Bosh is quite familiar with. You may even call him his arch-nemesis if you will. ESPN's Stephen A. Smith is reporting that Chris Bosh has told the Raptors he's not interested in returning to Toronto once his contract expires in 2010, saying quote, "Chris has already told the organization he has no desire to play in Toronto past that point." Smith also says that means we can expect Bosh's name to be frequently mentioned as the NBA trade deadline approaches on February 19th. He even goes on to mention possible landing spots for the coveted big-man, citing the Dallas Mavericks(in Bosh's hometown), and Miami Heat as leading candidates.
When questioned after practice this morning, Bosh claimed that he, quote,"Can't be held responsible for what other people say," and added, "I understand people are entitled to an opinion, but making stuff up?"
Not surprisingly, GM Colangelo had a similar tune to sing. "There's no truth to the rumor or the speculation that he said anything to us in the organization that he's going to be leaving," Colangelo said. "There's no truth to the fact that he's on the trading block or being shopped, in any regard."
These allegations have only added to the constantly growing bevy of trade winds blowing around the team like a Toronto snowstorm. We've all heard the Oneal for Marion swap that has been widely reported, and there is no doubt that his name is getting the most publicity these days. Multiple reports have landing him anywhere from South Beach to Chicago, with teams like Dallas and Sacramento thrown in for good measure. Time will tell whether there are truth to any of these reports and if a deal does come to fruition.
Rest assured on one thing however Mr. Colangelo, Mr. Triano and the entire Raptors organization: If you do get together and decide to trade the cornerstone of your franchise( Alla Vince Carter a few years back), be prepared to trade in your fans with him. Only unlike Chris Bosh, they may not wait around until 2010.