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The Birthday Bosh

y Mike Gallay
--special to raptors.com
March 24, 2004

Chris, it’s all over.

Your knees will ache on rainy mornings. Soon you’ll be complaining about “punk kids” with no respect for their elders. How will you fulfill your vast potential with that walker in your way? Might as well check into the nearest senior fraternity home and take a seat on the futon; someone will be by with strained peas shortly.

What’s that? Time to digress?

CB$ shows the crossover. (Ron Turenne/NBAE/Getty Images)size>
Wednesday, March 24th marks talented Raptor rookie Chris Bosh's 20th birthday and I can't suppress my glee. His few short months in Toronto have sparked memories of other historic career launches, notably Vince Carter in 1998, and the Sheppard subway in 2002 (which helped link long-lost relatives living at Bayview Avenue to distant family-members dwelling at Yonge Street).

In honour of Bosh's previous 19 years, I present to you:

The Top 19 Signs That Chris Bosh’s Career Is On Track

19) He led his Lincoln High varsity team to a 40-0 record and a Texas state championship as a high school senior. Supportive, but demanding parents Noel and Freida asked why he didn’t win 41.

18) Bosh has become so internationally recognized he was named "Mr. Basketball" for the state of Texas AND the province of Saskatchewan.

17) Little known fact: Chris has a great passion for computer imaging, and is not only the subject of this article, but also the webmaster of this site.

16) Despite the shame the media warned would go along with being chosen fourth overall, Bosh has not had to wear a bag over his head when leaving the house.

15) Typically, when Glen Grunwald grants you a multi-million-dollar deal as a teenager, you’re doing alright. At his age, I barely received half that and it was largely back-loaded.

14) "You can see the potential. You can see he's going to dominate some day." — Kevin Garnett (coincidentally, Garnett didn’t say that about me until my third season)

Happy Birthday Chris! (NBAE/Getty Images)size>
13) After throwing down a few thunderous dunks in the Rookie Challenge game, Chris showed remarkable restraint by not bouncing the ball off Carlos Boozer's head, as is Rookie Game tradition.

12) Firmly entrenched as my starting power forward, Bosh has helped lead my fantasy pool team to a runaway lead this year, so he's got that going for him too.

11) In February, Chris was a hair away from winning his first Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment Employee of the Month award. Keep pluggin’ away Chris, you’ll get there!

10) On March 7th, in a game against the New Orleans Hornets, Bosh had a jam over Jamaal Magloire that was so filthy, so lanky, so disrespectful ... it made me stop pining for the return of Keon Clark.

9) The Toronto Blue Jays — after much public outrage over altering their name — have been renamed the Toronto Bosh Jays.

8) On a recent episode of Jim Rome, Dennis Rodman claimed credit for Bosh’s calm demeanor, announcing that he was the one who coached Bosh on the finer points of dealing with the media after a losing effort.

7) In a related story, Charles Barkley has been so impressed with Bosh, he’s invited Chris to share in his well-guarded diet regimen (rumour has it Sir Charles’ slimming secret is an Atkins-based diet mixed with heavy carb-loading before all away and homemade meals).

6) Did you see his dunk in the first quarter on Pau Gasol last night? To borrow from Chuck Swirsky, that was sick, wicked AND nasty.

5) Speaking of Chuck-isms, Swirsky has a pet name for Chris Bosh — CB4 — and as we all know, Chuck only gives out terms of endearment to players who will be around for a long, long time (ie. “Air Canada” Carter, Alvin “Boogie” Williams, Lonny “Banger Brother” Baxter).

4) In a recent visit to Air Canada Centre, CBS basketball reporter Mike Kahn noted how the Raptor faithful had really taken to Bosh, when "nine bare-chested men stood up with B-O-S-H-R-U-L-E-S" painted on their chests. Little did he know, the men intended to spell out R-O-S-E-B-L-U-S-H in response to a particularly shocking Jalen Rose street clothes ensemble.

3) Chris will see action in his 64th NBA game Wednesday, and he's been bugging me to answer the obvious question. Yes Chris, we will still need you, we will still feed you, when you're 64.

2) Wednesday's game against the Houston Rockets reminds us of the last time these teams met, when Bosh went off for a career-high 25 points, including a clutch three-pointer that sent the game to overtime. I stand by my assertion that coach O’Neill seriously needs to consider Bosh at shooting guard.

...and the No. 1 sign that Chris Bosh’s career is on track?

1) At 6-10, with a blend of speed, power, range and maturity, Chris is the real deal. Mr. Bosh, we’re all really looking forward to the next twenty.

Happy Birthday.