Boo to Bosh's boo birds

STEVE BUFFERY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:56 PM ET

Welcome to Toronto ... aka Cleveland Light.

Remember when LeBron James returned to Cleveland in December? The anger and hostility was there and it was real, but there was also a sense afterward that the King's reception at Quicken Loans Arena was actually not that bad, that the fans actually let him off the hook a little bit.

There was also a sense, at least in this neck of the woods, that Raptors fans would be much tougher on James' teammate, Chris Bosh, when the former CB4 finally returned to the Air Canada Centre.

Well, compared to James' return to Cleveland, Bosh's return to Toronto on Wednesday night was a tea party.

Talk about a lot of hype for nothing.

"It's not even close. You can't compare it," said the Heat's all-star guard Dwyane Wade when asked to compare the anger directed at James in Cleveland to the anger towards Bosh in Toronto. Cleveland won.

Yes, most fans booed on Wednesday. But in comparison with how the ACC fans boo Vince Carter or Tracy McGrady, or how fans at the old Gardens used to boo Larry Murphy, it was lame.

The anger was muted and the hostility forced.

I'm starting to believe that decades of losing has sucked the life out of sports fans in this city.

They make a lot of noise on radio call-in shows and in emails to newspapers, but when push comes to shove, they're meek.

That's just my take.

But, hey, if the fans in Toronto aren't peeved at Bosh for jumping ship and signing with the Miami Heat during the off-season, great.

And if they don't care about those ridiculous tweets and quotes he left in his wake, that's fine too.

And so what if he mentally pulled the chute before the season ended last year — as GM Bryan Colangelo charged. I guess Toronto fans don‚t care about that either.

The world needs love, right? Isn‚t that what Ringo and the boys warbled?

Hey, I'm not disappointed that Bosh's reception wasn't harsher.

Bosh isn't a bad sport, and he played hard for most of his time here.

But, for once, I'd like to see Toronto sports fans show some real passion, one way or the other.

Raptors fans are usually pretty good, at least compared to those pickled stockbrokers who frequent Leafs games.

But the atmosphere at the ACC on Wednesday was disappointing.

I was expecting more. More signs. More signs that were clever. (CB4gotten‚ and Miami Cheat‚ were pretty good though). Clever catcalls. More chants.

Yes, they started chanting "Over rated!" in the first quarter, but that kind of died out, along with the boos.

I was even hoping that some booing fans and some cheering fans would start on each other.

But that didn't really happen either.

One thing I was happy with though, was the fact that the Raptors refrained from doing the pre-game "Love In" that NBA players do.

The last thing anybody wanted to see was the likes of Jose Calderon and Andrea Bargnani hugging Bosh at centre court before the game.

On Tuesday, Raptors coach Jay Triano expressed his contempt for such pre-game rituals and his players seemed to take heed.

So good for them.

By the third quarter, when Bosh scored to give the Heat a 54-48 lead, there were actually more cheers than boos for the former Raptor.

After the game, as Bosh wandered towards the locker room, the booing picked up, but when Bosh began blowing kisses at the crowd, many of the boos turned to cheers.

When asked afterwards to explain the kisses, Bosh said that he wanted to convey to the fans that "I miss them and I love them so much."

A little sarcasm perhaps?

"What does sarcasm mean?" said Bosh, with a laugh. "You know what? It's a sarcastic one to all the nay-sayers and it's real to all the good supporters. (But) people are going to take it the way they want to."


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