With his NBA day in the rear-view mirror, Chris Bosh opens his 13-year career at court.
Bosh, who will officially retire when Miami Heat raises his No 1 jersey to the block during a special ceremony next month, went to Bill Simmons podcast for a massive chat earlier this week.
During the interview, the 11-time All-Star chatted on a variety of topics – including what Anthony Davis saga says about the league today – but Toronto Raptors will want to match around seven minutes for an interesting discussion on Bosh's time up north.
While the Raptors are struggling to achieve some form of playoff success during Bosh's seven seasons with the club being well documented, as did Bosh's resignation to Miami in the free agency in the summer of 2010, Bosh opened up to Simmons for a certain moment which made it clear that his time in Toronto came to an end:
"I remember John Salmons was a free agent and it was between us and Chicago. So I am," Yes, okay. Oh, if we can get Johnny Salmon we will be pretty good, says Bosh to Simmons. "And I guess you would call it recruiting, trying to get in touch with him and things, and he took less money to go to Chicago. And that's typical when I knew it would be much harder to be in Toronto. As soon as I could change my fate and get the opportunity to explore other things, I was ready to do so. "
(As it turned out, the Salmon would eventually be in Toronto for part of a season at the end of their career, 2013-14.)
Bosh also spoke openly about why he feels that the club has been struggling to attract star talent, and highlights factors both on and off the court and pull off their own personal experience.
"You think like a young guy," Hey, if I work hard, everyone else will work hard around me and we'll do this – this particular, "Bosh told Simmons of his time in Toronto." And so hard as I worked, I barely cut the surface of the playoffs. I think we did the matches two years in a row and one of the years I thought we were pretty good, we were a .500 team. "
Bosh helped the Raptors to their first-class first place in the Atlantic after 47-35 in 2006-07. It was his first taste of the playoffs, which was quickly cut by the New Jersey Nets in Round 1. Bosh and Raptors won only one playoff game the following year in a first round of Orlando Magic.
"It was just the consistency of just kind of underachieving a little and really, quite frankly, having no help. Free agents didn't want to come. That's why we could only get that much better," Bosh explains.
"That's what it is. I guess it wasn't just that appealing," Bosh told Toronto as a free agent destination. "And even now, I can't remember the last time Toronto got a big free agent signing – it has usually been smart business."
The latest example is, of course, the acquisition of Kawhi Leonard in last summer's blockbuster deal with San Antonio who saw long time Raptor DeMar DeRozan sent to Spurs in return.
While acknowledging his own product as a deterrent to players who beat Toronto earlier, Bosh gained his experience in Toronto to discuss some of the logistical challenges that lie to the north of the border:
"It's taxes and duties, and they don't make it easy for you," he explained. "Forgive me if I go out on duty – I love you, but man. We would go in and out of town a lot. It is centrally located, so many in-and-out flights. You go through customs every time. And we are at the airport through customs and it gets a bit old. They had to give us our boarding pass and tickets and we got to remove our shoes and laptops, and now we are NBA players – we have many jewelry on. things.
"Sam Mitchell killed us a year. He made us have a business-casual dress code [laughs] so we have big coats and belt buckles and shoes go through the thing, "he said." I did math once: 26 hours at the airport. During a season, 26 extra hours. "
Of course, Bosh continued on with Miami in 2010, a third of the Big Three who won the back-to-back championships in 2012 and 2013 along with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
While the now retired star said he never expressed the Raptors deal during his last year in Toronto as he wanted to – "I'll just ride it out," he said of his thinking as he approached the end of his last three-year contract – He knew his time in Toronto was on his way and hoped he could make a final trip to the playoffs with the club.
"I wanted to try my best and I wanted to put everything on my back. It was one of the dreams I had as a child. [Michael] Jordan does, you think it is a little easier than it really is, he says. "I was in the position, was the best player, serious All-Star and all things, but I still looked at the playoff as soon as May. Like May 1st, it was a cover. And [after] For a while you will be nice to watch guys you have competed with throughout your life, you want to compete against them in this step. So not being able to experience it was very tough. And I mean the last year, I came in, I was a man on assignment. It just didn't work. I find numbered, I had the best of my career but I just ran out of juice. "
Although the interview may leave the Raptors fans who re-experienced a dark time in Toronto, Bosh wrote off by releasing a trust in the current release of the club: he has the Raptors to the finals this year against the Golden State.
Just, maybe, don't listen final Finals prediction.