One of best to ever toss on a Toronto Raptors uniform is now in reflection mode after making his retirement from the NBA official on Monday.
“That part of my life is over,” Chris Bosh told Bill Simmons of The Ringer.
“I could have kept playing. But man, that time has passed. I’ve made the decision not to pursue it anymore.”
Bosh hasn’t played an NBA game since the 2015-16 season and hasn’t suited up for a full campaign since 2013-14 due to a series of blood clots that derailed — and ultimately ended — his illustrious 13-year career.
The 24-year-old spent more that half of those years with the Raptors after Toronto selected the forward with the fourth overall selection of the 2002 Draft. He left for Miami in free agency in 2010 to join LeBron, D-Wade and the Heat, but his decision to vacate the franchise that drafted him was apparently made well before.
“I remember John Salmons was a free agent and it was between us and Chicago. So I’m like, ‘Yeah, OK. Oh man, if we can get Johnny Salmons we’ll be pretty good,’” Bosh told Simmons on his podcast.
“And I guess you would call it recruiting, trying to get in touch with him and stuff, and he took less money to go to Chicago. And that’s kind of when I knew it was going to be a lot more difficult being in Toronto. So as soon as I could change my destiny and have an opportunity to explore other things, I was ready to do that.”
The realization that Toronto was in tough when it came to attracting marquee free agents — something the 34-year-old still believes hinders the organization today — was seemingly one that sealed Bosh’s fate with the Raptors.
“It was just that consistency of just kind of underachieving a little bit and really, quite frankly, not having any help. Free agents didn’t want to come. Therefore, we could only get so much better,” Bosh explained.
“It is what it is. I guess it just wasn’t as appealing. And even now, I don’t remember the last time Toronto got a big free agent signing — it’s usually been smart trades.”
With only a pair of first-round playoff exits to show for his seven seasons in Toronto, it’s clear that the team’s lack of success over his tenure played a big factor in his decision, too.
“You think as a young guy, ‘Hey, if I work hard everybody else is going to work hard around me and we’re going to do this thing — this special thing,’” Bosh said of his time with the Raptors.
“And as hard as I was working, we were barely scratching the surface of the playoffs. I think we made the playoffs two years in a row and one of the years I thought we were pretty good, we were a .500 team.”
Bosh, who will have his No. 1 retired and raised to the rafters in Miami next month, averaged 37 minutes, 20.2 points and 9.4 rebounds per game over his 509 career regular season games with the Raptors.
He’s also logged 11 career All-Star appearances and won two NBA titles with the Heat.
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