All-star or bust for Bosh

Chris Bosh has his eyes set on being selected to the Eastern All-Star team. SUN MEDIA FILE/Michael...

Chris Bosh has his eyes set on being selected to the Eastern All-Star team. SUN MEDIA FILE/Michael Peake

STEVE BUFFERY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:00 AM ET

His YouTube.com video has cracked up more than a few fans the past few days, but participating in the NBA all-star game for the third consecutive season is no joke to Raptors forward Chris Bosh.

Bosh, who recorded an amusing video over the holiday season in an effort to garner enough fan votes to be named as a participant in the 2008 all-star game, Feb. 17 in New Orleans, has said for a while now that he expects to play in it every year for the rest of the his career.

"I would be greatly disappointed if I'm not in every year," Bosh said yesterday, following the Raptors practice at the Air Canada Centre. "That's definitely one of the goals I set coming into every season."

But while he was voted as a starter to the Eastern Conference team last season for the first time in his career, this season will be a different story altogether.

Despite the fact he has posted all-star numbers in December (22.1 points and 10.9 rebounds in 12 games), the Boston Celtics trade of former perennial Western Conference all-star Kevin Garnett this season means that Bosh almost certainly will not be voted on to the team. Garnett leads all Eastern Conference players with 1,527,963 votes in fan balloting while Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James is second, with 1,294,019. Both are forwards, which means Bosh's only real chance of being named to play in the game is to be selected by the coaches. Voters select two guards, two forwards and one centre from each conference and the remaining seven are selected by coaches. Bosh is third among forwards in the East with 411,313.

Bosh believes that his improved numbers of late prove he belongs in the all-star game, even if he isn't voted to the Eastern team. He has connected on 50 of 55 free throw attempts in his past six games and had eight double-doubles in 12 games in December.

"For the past week or two I think so," said Bosh, when asked if he has played at an all-star level. "I've been thinking about that every game, just play like an all-star and help this team win."

And though he has virtually no chance of passing either Garnett or James in the fan balloting, it is important for Bosh to collect enough votes to stay ahead of the Celtics' Paul Pierce, which would almost guarantee a selection by the coaches to the game. His YouTube.com video, where he jokingly solicits votes in the style of a Texas used-car salesman, has shown a lighter side to the 23-year-old, something the Dallas native feels is important to convey to the fans.

"Before Dwight Howard and I became good friends. I thought he was a jerk and he thought I was mean," Bosh said of the image players often give off on the court. "Tyson Chandler, I thought he was just a mean guy. But they're actually great guys. You just see this intense figure trying to win basketball games, playing hard and playing tough, you tend to forget that they have a personality.

"I really got to thinking that (maybe) people are seeing me like that. So, I just wanted to be personable in some kind of way."

Bosh will need his "A" game this evening as the Raptors are home to the red-hot Detroit Pistons, a veteran club that owns the second-best record in the NBA (25-7).


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