Chris Bosh: A Diminished Brand

Toronto Raptor fans were disappointed when Chris Bosh decided to sign with Miami and to play with Lebron James and Dwayne Wade.  This is perhaps the biggest investment error that a player like Bosh could have made.

Toronto fans have seen it before.  Damon Stoudemire, Mighty Mouse, left Toronto to join the Portland Trailblazers.  He went from “the man” to a role player, and his career was never even close to the same–but perhaps it’s only because he had a marijuana problem.  Arguably Vince Carter has not done as well since leaving Toronto.  Tracy McGrady left Toronto to escape Carter’s shadow, and it diminished his chances at a title, though not his scoring ability.

But Bosh’s decision is a little puzzling.  Is a chance at being a contender immediately so important?  What happened to the David Robinson approach of sticking with the same franchise and building brand for himself and for the city.  Is that approach dead?  Perhaps not with Kobe Bryant who is a Laker for life.

Bosh’s numbers are down across the board.  I suggested to a friend that he would become the Lamar Odom of Miami (but Odom is much better rebounder); Bosh is not even second fiddle in Miami.  In Toronto the offense revolved around getting it to the man, the go-to guy, Chris Bosh.  Now, his shot attempts are down 33% from 16.5 attempts per game last season to 11 per game in Miami.  Even more telling, his free throw attempts per game are down 45% from 8.4 to 4.7.  He is not getting the touches–the ball-handlers James and Wade are getting theirs–but poor Bosh requires that someone pass to him.  But there is no Jose Calderon in Miami.  Wade and James will make the All Star team.  But Bosh will only make the All Star team by sympathy vote.

If he had stayed in Toronto and built up a contender around himself, he had a chance of retaining his brand, an all star, perhaps an all-time great player.  Now, the only chance he has of regaining his market capital is if he helps Lebron and Wade win a championship in Miami.  But then he is not Lebron’s Scotty Pippen.  He is more like Lebron’s Ron Harper or Tony Kukoc.  He doesn’t rebound well enough to be Lebron’s Dennis Rodman.

As for whether Miami will win a championship any time soon, I have my doubts.  The last time Bosh, Wade, and James played together on the same team, they lost to the Greek national team.