Everybody thinks, 'Oh, he was gone as soon as the season was over.' It was the hardest decision I ever had to make.” -- Chris Bosh,
on leaving Toronto
In an interview on Rogers Sportsnet on Thursday night, Bosh responded to allegations made by Raptors general manager Bryan Colangelo on Toronto radio station FAN 590 that claimed the All-Star was "checked out" late last season and chose not to play some of the Raptors' final games.
"I play this game as hard as I can every time I step on the court," Bosh said. "On the back of my jersey it says 'Bosh' ... The Boshes are hard workers. We have a lot of pride in what we do, in our jobs and in life."
The Raptors fell from a playoff position at the All-Star break into ninth place in the Eastern Conference at the end of the season. Bosh and former Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James then joined Dwyane Wade in Miami as free agents this summer.
That ruffled feathers in Toronto and Cleveland, with Colangelo suggesting that the decision for the three stars to play together had been "brewing for a while." He suggested the threesome started firming up their plans while representing the East at the NBA All-Star Game.
Bosh claims he was still intent on getting the Raptors into the postseason.
"What's so significant about the All-Star break? We were in the playoffs. And I wanted to play in the playoffs," he said. "That's all I thought about every summer."
Bosh also clarified comments he made recently in the Miami Herald in which he called Toronto "different." He said he didn't mean that as an insult to the city.
"Toronto is different," he said. "For one, it's a different country. If you don't know you're in a different country when you land then something is wrong with your senses. That's not to say that Toronto is not a great metropolitan city. It is a fantastic city.
"Different is not bad. I'm different. That doesn't make me bad," he said.
Bosh also claimed his decision to leave Toronto was at the end of a long process and not something he had committed to before the offseason.
"Everybody thinks, 'Oh, he was gone as soon as the season was over,'" he said. "It was the hardest decision I ever had to make. As different as another country is, it was still home for me. I had been there for seven years."
Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press
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