Chris Bosh may be a rising star in the NBA, but his game certainly isn't shining very bright in the Land of the Rising Sun.
After being named to the U.S. men's basketball team last spring, the Raptors forward had every reason to believe that this summer's world basketball championships in Japan would do good things for his game. Playing alongside the best in the business tends to elevate one's play.
But that's hardly been the case. In the four preliminary games at the worlds -- all victories -- Bosh has averaged nine minutes per game, and was not given any minutes in the USA team's 94-85 win over Italy early yesterday morning. Bosh has taken a total of five shots from the floor in four games, scoring eight total points with five rebounds.
Against the Italian team, American forwards Elton Brand and Shane Battier played 28 and 15 minutes respectively for the red, white and blue.
Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo, however, is not worried about his star player's lack of minutes, nor his psyche at this point. Colangelo, who has five players taking part in the tournament in Japan, believes Bosh's minutes will come as the worlds progress and believes that, no matter his playing time, the tournament will be beneficial for Bosh, and all the Raptors taking part. The other Raptors playing at the worlds are forward Jorge Garbajosa and point guard Jose Calderon for Spain, and centre Rasho Nesterovic and forward Uros Slokar for Slovenia.
"I'm sure it's frustrating for Chris not to be playing, but he knows that he is there for a bigger purpose," Colangelo said. "This is part of a three-year plan, not a one year thing."
The American men's team has been put together with the purpose of winning the 2008 Beijing Olympics gold medal and all the players have committed to that goal.
"I've heard nothing but great reports come from USA Basketball officials about Chris ... about how he has handled himself and what kind of player he is," added Colangelo, whose father, legendary NBA executive Jerry Colangelo, is the USA team's managing director.
Colangelo said Bosh's lack of minutes likely stems from head coach Mike Krzyzewski getting comfortable with a certain rotation early in the tournament.
"I'm not certain how the flow of minutes is being distributed," Colangelo said. "But I've noticed very few bigs playing a lot of minutes. The way (the U.S.) is playing, it's more perimetre orientated. There's a lot of guard play and wing play.
"I've seen a lot of small lineups with (Krzyzewski) utilizing LeBron James at the four position (power forward)," he added. "You have to realize that over a 3-4 week period, playing that many games, you're going to have a different flow of minutes each night. I'm sure Chris wants to play more, but I'm also sure he'll get an opportunity.
The U.S. played 0-4 Senegal this morning.
The other four Raptors competing at the worlds are having successful tournaments, particularly free-agent signee Garbajosa, who is averaging 13.3 points and 5.8 rebounds for Spain. Calderon is averaging 8.0 points and 3.8 assists on the Spanish team. Nesterovic is also playing well, averaging 11.8 points and 7.0 rebounds for Slovenia.