Don't know jack about Bosh

"It has not been easy," Chris Bosh says of the constant speculation about his future. (QMI Agency/Stan Behal)

MIKE GANTER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:36 AM ET

I've just about had it with my American media counterparts.

Almost on a daily basis now, I can find at least one story out there with someone purporting to know for certain that Raptors all-star Chris Bosh is jumping the first train out of here.

It's not the idea that he might be leaving the Raptors that is so bothersome.

Bosh may in fact be playing in another uniform next season. That's a distinct possibility. He has the right to opt out of the final year of his contract, become a free agent, and flee.

It could happen.

But what's really annoying is that his departure is a "done deal" -- a foregone conclusion. My point is, it isn't.

Bosh said so more than a year ago when reports of his imminent departure first started. He said so as recently as Monday following practice.

Maybe if the members of the American media throwing these blanket statements around so cavalierly had been in the countless pre-game, post-game, pre-shootaround, post-practice scrums that those of us who are actually around Bosh on a near daily basis have been, they wouldn't be so quick to write off his Raptors future.

Now there's no doubt that Bosh has confidantes in the media south of the border. He is an American. He grew up in Dallas. He helped his country win a gold medal in Beijing two summers ago. There is no way he hasn't made those relationships.

He might even be more comfortable expressing future plans with that select few. We get that.

But Bosh has been so steadfastly adamant that he has not made up his mind about next season, let alone next week, that it's hard to accept that anyone who has spent any time looking into his future could dismiss it.

And yet the daily Bosh-is-gone articles and reports continue to appear.

This was about the start of it:

* Stephen A. Smith on his own blog defending statements he made two days earlier on ESPN.

Feb. 2, 2009: "My sources tell me Chris Bosh wants out of Toronto. Preferably before 2010, when he's free to opt out of his contract."

* Chad Ford, ESPN chat, Feb. 3, 2009.

"I can't speak to the veracity of Stephen A. Smith's report. However, the word around the league is that Bosh wants to leave."

"Bryan Colangelo says that Bosh hasn't told him that. Bosh has said he hasn't told Colangelo that. But what about Bosh's agent? Or someone else close to Bosh? Even if it's never been said, isn't the writing on the wall?"

And more recently:

* Peter Vecsey, New York Post, Jan. 10, 2010.

"It commonly is believed Bosh almost certain is to flee Toronto after this season, when he has the right to opt out of the final year ($17.1 million) of his contract."

* Aron Phillips, Jan. 8, 2010, Dime Magazine

"Make no mistake, there is no chance that Chris Bosh re-signs with Toronto this summer."

* Tim Legler, ESPN NBA analyst, Jan. 25, 2010

"Chris Bosh is not going to re-sign with Toronto. He hasn't come out and said that ... but his avoidance of the topic speaks volumes to me. He's a guy I know is not going to re-sign there."

* Bill Simmons, ESPN Radio, Jan. 11, 2010

"Can I make a prediction? I don't even think it's a prediction. (Chris Bosh) is leaving. He is leaving and he's going to play in a bigger market."

Now this is only a sampling of the certainty that exists out there, primarily in the U.S. But using just this sampling, go back and find one shred of evidence to support any of these theories.

You come up with generalizations such as "word around the league" or "commonly believed."

These American commentators just state it as fact. Try finding one person who can explain how they know this so-called truth.

Don't ask Bosh to explain it.

He can't.

"That's a good question," Bosh says when asked how everyone else can be so sure of what his move will be this summer. "If that were really the case, wouldn't it be kind of evident from myself even?"

What Bosh is saying, and what he has been saying for the better part of two years, is he hasn't made that decision -- so how can anyone else know?

"It has not been easy," he admits when asked about all the speculation. "I guess this is wishful thinking from other forms of media. Welcome to my world."

You would think, based on the overwhelming sense of certainty, that Bosh was just one of the few guys in a position to move this summer, but that too would be wrong.

In what could be the biggest free-agent class of franchise-type players in the history of the league, Bosh is joined by LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and then a notch below come others such as Amare Stoudemire, Joe Johnson and Carlos Boozer.

An ESPN poll this past August asked 52 of its NBA types -- writers, researchers, statisticians and the like -- where each of the potential big names would wind up in 2011.

Just three voters or a paltry 5.8% believed Bosh would stay in Toronto.

James? Oh 73.1% had him staying in Cleveland.

Wade? Not quite as certain, but 67.3% believed he would still be in a Heat uniform past 2010.

And the best reason given for this certainty of Bosh heading elsewhere?

" ... Reports from behind the scenes have led many to believe that Bosh wants to leave."

Yeah, there's that vagueness again.

Colangelo for his part wants nothing to do with commenting on the motives of the American media or any media for that matter.

"As long as Chris Bosh and his agent realize our intentions it really shouldn't matter," Colangelo said.

But it does matter. People get pissy when they feel like their home or even their home team are being summarily dismissed in the battle to attract or keep one of their best and brightest commodities.

And it's doubly pissy when most of that dismissal is coming from outside the country.


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