Bosh gets an all-star snub

BILL HARRIS -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 9:02 AM ET

Chris Bosh got screwed.

Not by the coaches who voted for the NBA all-star reserves, but by the dismal won-lost record of his own team, the Raptors.

Bosh was snubbed yesterday when the league announced which players had been selected to fill out the all-star rosters for the Feb. 20 game in Denver. He was given merely an outside chance by most pundits, but ultimately there were about as many reasons to include him as there were to exclude him.

DISAPPOINTED

"It's easier said than done to put it in the back of my mind," Bosh said. "Of course, I'm disappointed. But life goes on."

If only the Raptors had been playing closer to .500.

"We're 20-28," Raptors coach Sam Mitchell said, as if that explained everything, before the game in Cleveland last night.

Of the seven reserve players added to the Eastern all-star team, the only one whose regular club was below .500 yesterday morning was Jermaine O'Neal of the Indiana Pacers. And since the Pacers have been one of the best teams in the East for a decade and are struggling this season primarily because of the Motown-brawl suspensions, O'Neal was accorded some slack.

The other Eastern reserves (Gilbert Arenas and Antawn Jamison of Washington, Dwyane Wade of Miami, Ben Wallace of Detroit, Zydrunas Ilgauskas of Cleveland and Paul Pierce of Boston) all play for teams that either were considerably above . 500 or at .500 and leading a division. The Raptors did not qualify in any of those categories.

Bosh is not well-known or charismatic enough in his off-court endeavours to make a dent in the fan voting that rewarded Eastern starters Allen Iverson of Philadelphia, LeBron James of Cleveland, Vince Carter of New Jersey, Grant Hill of Orlando or Shaquille O'Neal of Miami. Eastern coaches picked the Eastern reserves and while it's known Bosh got a few votes, he obviously didn't get enough.

We're a tad surprised Ilgauskas was included. The East is loaded with star guards, so we would have opted for another point man, probably Steve Francis of Orlando.

And by the way, we're shocked the Western all-star team will include three Phoenix Suns (Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire and Shawn Marion), two San Antonio Spurs (Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili), two Seattle SuperSonics (Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis) and two Houston Rockets (Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady), but zero Sacramento Kings.

As of yesterday, the Kings had the fourth-best record in the conference. The three remaining Western berths went to Kevin Garnett of Minnesota and Kobe Bryant of the L.A. Lakers (voted in by the fans) and Dirk Nowitzki of Dallas (selected by the coaches).

The Raptors expect the 20-year-old Bosh to develop into a perennial all-star. Others do, too.

"I follow everybody in our (2003 rookie) class and I'm happy with what (Bosh) has done, especially after the Vince Carter trade," James said yesterday. "(Bosh) has been getting big numbers."

And last Sunday Nowitzki had this to say about Bosh: "I really like him. I think he's going to be a nice player in the future, and probably an all-star."

Just not this year.

So Carter and Antonio Davis remain the only players to appear in an all-star game as a Raptor.

BETTER AS A UNIT

Understandably, the majority of Toronto fans would like to see that stricken from the record as soon as possible.

But for that to happen, it not only is a matter of Bosh improving individually.

"You win more games, you get more glory," Bosh said. "And we have more losses than wins."

Come on, Raptors, get better as a unit. Give Chris Bosh a fighting chance to be an all-star someday.


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