Chris Bosh now knows what it's like to walk in Vince Carter's shoes.
No, Bosh hasn't taken up residence on the injured list. Rather, he has joined his former teammate as the only Raptors to win the NBA Eastern Conference player of the week award.
Bosh, who received the award yesterday, still needs six more player of the week honours to reach Carter's total. But if he keeps playing the way he did this past week, (averaging 20.5 points, 13 rebounds and 1.3 blocks and connecting on 30 of 50 field goal attempts to lead the Raptors to a 3-1 record), the second-year forward will be a weekly winner again.
"It has already been dictated that Chris Bosh is going to be the future of this franchise," Raptors guard Jalen Rose said. "He's a nice young man from a nice family and I feel like he deserves that. Now it's up to him to just keep doing what he's doing and not really feed into who's going to be the next man ... Wherever he is, he's going to be a productive player because he's got game. He's going to keep getting better and he's a lefty (like Rose) so I'm definitely rooting for him."
Bosh, who nabbed a career-high 17 rebounds Sunday against the Golden State Warriors, said he hasn't become the ultimate team leader yet.
"Slowly but surely, but not all the way," he said. "I'm still working on a lot of things and I'm still young. There are a lot of things I have to sharpen in my game and in my leadership skills before I can take that role."
Bosh is pleased with the Raptors' 3-1 record on their current season-long home stand, which concludes tomorrow night against the Boston Celtics.
"I think we've responded well to the challenge the coaches and fans gave us for this home stand," he said. "We felt we had to make a statement going into the all-star game and we have to start now."