Bosh thinking positive

STEVE BUFFERY -- Toronto Sun

, Last Updated: 10:12 AM ET

Chris Bosh would love to play his entire career in Toronto.

In a recent interview, the club's star power forward admitted that he does think about where he might be playing in future years and acknowledged that finishing his career with one team is something he relishes.

"I do think that far ahead," Bosh said. "You look at a lot of the great players in the NBA who played for one team and it's a good thing. You keep your feet planted and you develop a long relationship with everybody in the organization."

It's a tribute to his ability that Raptors fans already are wringing their hands over the fate of the club's outstanding young forward.

Speculation has run wild recently over whether Bosh will jump ship when his contract expires following the 2007-08 season.

Many NBA insiders believe that it's a given that Bosh will leave Toronto when he has the chance, given the chaotic state of the team in recent years. The Raptors have not qualified for the playoffs for the past three seasons and have the worst record in the NBA (6-21) this season. Interest in the 21-year-old around the league is sky high. Los Angeles Lakers coach Phil Jackson recently was fined $25,000 US for violating the NBA's anti-tampering rule when he publicly expressed interest in Bosh.

Bosh, however, said that speculation of his departure following the 2007-08 campaign is premature, adding that he would love to stay -- if (and it's a big if) the team begins to turn the corner in terms of improving on the court.

"It's all about progress," he said. "You can always say, 'We're getting better. We're getting better.' But unless you really see it, unless you see the rookies coming along, to start to play better, start to get a feel for the NBA, it's a totally different thing."

The big Texan added that he has been in impressed with the development of Toronto's three rookies this season: Forward Charlie Villanueva, Joey Graham and point guard Jose Calderon. Bosh hopes that the team as a whole will continue to improve, to the point where they might be challenge for a playoff spot next season.

Although he has struggled a bit of late, Bosh is enjoying a solid season, despite the fact that he is being double-teamed in almost every game. As Toronto's No.1 offensive option, Bosh rarely gets any room or an open shot. Still, he has picked up 13 double-doubles in 27 games (ninth in the NBA) and is averaging career highs in points (21.9) and rebounds (9.5).

The Raptors meet the 22-3 Detroit Pistons tonight at the Palace at Auburn Hills. The Pistons are a stellar 10-1 at home.


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