Bosh Has No Regrets on Eve on NCAA Final

BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:04 AM ET

WHEN CHRIS BOSH closes his eyes and allows himself to drift away, things are different. Maybe he didn't leave college last spring after only one season.

Maybe he's starting for Georgia Tech tonight in the NCAA championship game against Connecticut.

The game is in San Antonio, so a bunch of his family and friends from nearby Dallas are in attendance, cheering him on as he performs on the grandest stage of his life.

Then Bosh snaps awake and realizes he is a Raptor.

"I try not to think like that, because I don't want to be too selfish," the 20-year-old Raptors rookie said after his club yesterday had suffered its seventh loss in a row, 90-83 to the Milwaukee Bucks.

"Yeah, it has crossed my mind. It would cross anyone's mind. But I'm happy for those guys (at Georgia Tech)."

Bosh is one of a handful of Raptors -- including fellow Georgia Tech alumnus Dion Glover, Connecticut alumnus Donyell Marshall and general man-about-town Michael Curry -- who chartered a plane last night with the expectation of attending the college title game this evening.

Bosh undoubtedly will have a good time back among the students but, ultimately, he believes turning pro when he did was the right thing to do.

"I don't have any regrets," Bosh said. "They (his former teammates at Georgia Tech) want to be in my position and I want to be in theirs. So it goes both ways."

As far as the Raptors are concerned, things are going only one way. Downhill.

With six games remaining in the season, their playoff chances have been reduced to the slimmest of mathematical possibilities.

They're missing one general manager, they're soon to be down another head coach and the tension in the locker room is palpable.

Some of the players barely can stand each other's presence.

Vince Carter, in particular, looked angry and frustrated at various junctures yesterday, glaring at teammates and pleading with the coaching staff to do something, anything.

After the final buzzer Carter tossed his shoes into the stands. He probably made some souvenir-seekers happy, but it also might have been an indication of his disgust with everything going on around him.

Carter and the Raptors could be headed for a messy divorce this summer, either because he asks to be traded or the new GM, whomever it may be, decides on his own that Carter has to go.

Some observers have gone so far as to suggest that if Carter leaves, the Raptors immediately could start building a team around Bosh.

"That's the first time I've heard that," Bosh said when the notion of the Raptors using him as a cornerstone so early in his career was presented to him yesterday.

"Knowing some people think I could handle something like that is a great compliment. It just goes to show you have to have a good character as well as being a good player.

BE STRONG

"It's a compliment, but if that's set for me, I have to go out and bust my butt and make sure I work real hard. You have to be strong and carry a lot on your shoulders."

While this season has been a bust for the Raptors, Bosh still claims it has not been a bust for him personally.

"It has been worthwhile," Bosh said.

"It shows me the other (losing) side of the NBA. I still try to learn something from every game I play, because that's what separates the good players from the great players. And speaking selfishly, I want to be great someday.

"This will give me a sense of urgency for every game next year. I'm going to try my best to make sure this doesn't happen again."

Listening to Bosh speak those words, one is left with the refreshing impression that he actually means them.

If there's one thing the Raptors can be thankful for this season, it's that Chris Bosh didn't stay in school.


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