No messin' with Bosh

Toronto Raptors' Chris Bosh in a file photo. (SUN/Craig Robertson)

Toronto Raptors' Chris Bosh in a file photo. (SUN/Craig Robertson)

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:19 AM ET

ST. CATHARINES -- Chris Bosh yelled at some of his teammates during a scrimmage yesterday. But those harsh words were music to head coach Sam Mitchell's ears.

It seems the guys on his side were launching too many jump shots from long range and not passing him the ball inside, and so the normally mild-mannered Bosh let them have it. Far from discouraging such an outburst, Mitchell was pleased.

The Raptors are one of the youngest teams in the NBA. Mitchell, therefore, has asked two of his more laid-back veterans, Bosh and Morris Peterson, to step up this season in the leadership department and become more verbal -- let the other guys know it if they're screwing up.

In fact, Mitchell wouldn't mind if all of his players held nothing back this season, unless of course, it's whining or pouting or something of that nature.

"I can't be the top cop every night," Mitchell explained, following Day 4 of training camp at Brock University. "In order for us to start moving in the direction that we want, becoming a good team, the players have to police themselves.

"This is their team," he said. "When they start policing themselves, that's when you know this team is going in the right direction."

Mitchell understands that becoming gregarious overnight may be a tall order for Bosh. The third-year NBAer, who many expect to be named to the all-star team this season for the first time, is a quiet, sometimes introverted individual.

Last season, when he was upset during the game, Bosh generally would look down toward the floor and shake his head. But part of becoming a leader is speaking out when the time is right. And even though he's only 21, Bosh is expected to become one of the young team's leaders.

"Chris is reserved," Mitchell said. "And that's fine. I don't want you to change who you are. But come (game time), you have to learn to step outside of who you are and become who you need to be to help this team grow."

Which is why Mitchell was so pleased when Bosh lashed out during the scrimmage.

"I'm proud of him," Mitchell said. "Chris wouldn't have done that last year. He would have kept it to himself."

Bosh, who is expected to be named a team captain, agreed.

"It's going to take some more time, (but) different people have been helping to get that out of me," he said. "I tend to be passive. But you won't see me putting my head down and biting my tongue anymore."

The Raptors training camp wraps up this afternoon with the traditional Purple/White Scrimmage at Brock's Bob Davis Gymnasium.


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