|Miami Heat's Chris Bosh hugs former teammate, Toronto Raptors' Jose Calderon. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)
TORONTO - Chris Bosh was excited, he was nervous, and said more than once he didn’t know what kind of reception he would get.
But he did know.
Bosh knew well before he ever decided to leave Toronto that his return would be met by boos.
He saw it first-hand when Vince left and every time Vince returned whether it was as a New Jersey Net or a member of the Orlando Magic and presumably Phoenix although that is yet to be determined.
Bosh admitted as much when he was asked if he thought he could have done anything else or anything differently to ensure a more positive welcome than the one he knew awaited him about an hour from his pre-game meeting with 45 or some members of the assembled media.
“The only guys I ever saw cheered (when they returned in a different uniform) were the guys who got traded,” Bosh said.
So it was no surprise to Bosh when he emerged from the tunnel about 10th man of the 12 dressed and right beside LeBron James to a steady chorus of boos.
It continued that way throughout the evening every time Bosh touched the ball or his face appeared on the video board above the court.
Of course Bosh could and did accurately predict this wouldn’t be the worst reception the Heat would face all season. Nothing could or will compare to the rude welcome Cleveland laid out for Akron’s own LeBron James.
“Cleveland was,” Bosh said without hesitation. “You had to be there for that.”
Bosh was also asked pre-game if he would be hurt by a hostile reception.
Bosh said no, but unless he’s done a complete personality change in the last eight months or so, he wasn’t being completely truthful.
Those who know Bosh best from his days in Toronto know Bosh, unlike of lot of his professional brethren, cares deeply what people think of him.
But Bosh readily admits he made his choice and he’s not about to second-guess anything about it, even if he doesn’t have the expanded role he once owned here.
The question of whether Bosh missed the franchise player status he had here in Toronto was raised.
“Sometimes I do,” Bosh said. ‘But I can’t let my ego get in the way of what I wanted to do and that’s win a championship or multiple championships.”