Is it enough that fans just let him have it for two and half hours and they get there chance to respond to all the stupid tweets and comments regardless of the outcome of the game itself? The natural comparisons for this will be the returns of Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter. On April Fools Day 2001 was the return of T-Mac with the Orlando Magic his new team got a 104-101 win and McGrady was 8 for 21 with 24 points and 7 rebounds with 5 turnovers. T-Mac infamously embraced the booing claiming it was proof that Raptors fans still loved him. Vince Carter did not exactly embrace his role as a villain as quickly as his long lost cousin. But he would perform better on April 15th 2005 in his first return to Toronto. He had 39 points, 9 rebounds ,4 assists and 3 steals in a 101-90 win for the Nets. So both played well and their teams won. So should we expect the same for Chris Bosh? Well Bosh obviously is not the main guy on his new team like Carter and McGrady were. However the Heat may decide to try and make sure Chris gets his. Lebron James certainly got his, on his return to Cleveland. It was a 118-90 thrashing that got the Heat heading in the right direction and the Cavs into the tailspin season they have had. James had 38 points and heard it from Cleveland at the start and it faded in and out throughout the night.
So if we shutdown Chris Bosh and lost would that be enough? Not for me at least. The most disappointing thing about the return to Cleveland for the Cavs fans had to be the fact their team for the most part rolled over and played dead. The Raptors despite their horrible record have had very few nights where you can say they have done that. It was also an issue how some of the Cavs treated Lebron. They didn't have any hate for him and some of them made that glaringly obvious. How will we feel if some of the Raptors were to do that? Hopefully they are smart enough to know better. But is it enough if the Raptors put up a hard fight and in the end lose, because they just don't have the talent ultimately to come out on top.
Is it a case of you just want to see Chris Bosh get beat up with in the context of the game. If he gets knocked on his butt a few times and has a hard night at the office is that enough? I am not talking hurt the guy and if you are wanting that, I really don't have much time for that. There is nothing that makes it acceptable to want a guy hurt. It just isn't the right thing to do under any circumstances. But to have some Charles Oakley style justice is fine with me.
Is it nothing more than an improbable win will do? No matter what happens it is not going to make up for what has been an awful season. As much as it might be painful to admit it the reasons Chris Bosh left were actually sound. Bryan Colangelo had several chances to get it right with Chris and failed to find a formula to build a team around him. While Bosh detractors will claim that it is because Bosh is not a main guy to carry a team. His going to Miami in the situation he has might be the ultimate admission of that. But as I pointed out in that same article above Chris Bosh could make the argument this franchise never spent the money to truly compete. The Raptors never were a tax team in his time here and truly invested in becoming a winner which is what they have always claimed to want to be. Chris Bosh whatever you might think of him personally is a heck of a basketball talent and he may not be on the same level as his two running buddies with the Heat. He is a very good basketball player and the coaches in this league recognized that by sending him to his 6th straight All-Star Game.
This game regardless of the result will not make up for the huge void that has been left by Bosh leaving. The still to be used trade exception and Miami first round pick along with the Raptors own pick will not likely either. But this is a chance for one night to have a game that means something to everyone that considers themselves a Raptor fan. It is a chance to make fun things like videos which we did in doing a re-mix of the TBJ video that everyone saw earlier this year "Like A Bosh".
But what the ultimate best outcome might be is we get to see how these players on this young Raptors team respond to a big game environment, with the closest thing to a playoff atmosphere Toronto will experience as a sports town this year. How will Demar DeRozan, Andrea Bargnani and others respond to that environment? If they step up and perform well that is part of that growth process that everyone has been talking about all year. But once this is all done, the Raptors reality will not have changed. This has been a terrible season and the Raptors miss Chris Bosh in the sense of having a true star player far more than he misses Toronto and being the main man.
But to parphrase The Rock tomorrow- Finally Chris Bosh Has Come Back To Toronto!!! It may feel a lot like this:
Maybe not because let's face it Dwayne Johnson and Dwyane Wade will both be bigger stars than Chris Bosh will ever be. But it is going to be the biggest thing to hit Toronto in a long time. Along with being the biggest Raptor game since they were last in the playoffs vs the Magic.