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Old 06-18-2006, 01:37 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Big Bosh to sign big extension July 12

Canadians celebrated Easter on Monday, April 17, Victoria Day on May 22 in recognition of Queen Victoria's birthday and Boxing Day the day after Christmas out of respect for the time church poor boxes are opened. And on July 12, it will be Chris Bosh Day as Canadians likely will celebrate the signing of a lucrative six-year contract extension that will keep the American in a Toronto Raptors uniform.

"I can't wait to sign it," Bosh said. "I know where I'll be. If I didn't, I would have to answer all those free-agent questions.

"It's for me and my family. I can focus on building a championship team there. ... If I know where I'll be, I'll worry about the team and make us better."

The main reason to celebrate Bosh's signing is that it will validate a franchise longing for NBA prominence. Without him, the struggling will continue north of the border.

Bosh averaged 22.5 points, 9.2 rebounds and 1.13 blocked shots this past season. The 6-foot-10, 230-pounder also made his first all-star appearance.

But while numerous members of the famed 2003 draft class - Carmelo Anthony, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Kaman, Kirk Hinrich and Josh Howard - have played in the postseason, Bosh has yet to make it to the playoffs. The Raptors have missed the playoffs four straight seasons and were 27-55 last season.

If Bosh wanted to play hardball, he could ask for a one-year extension to become an unrestricted free agent in 2008. With the franchise's struggles and Canadian taxes in mind, there had been a possibility that Toronto could lose Bosh, a member of the U.S. national team. But "T-dot" natives have nothing to worry about.

"I love Toronto," Bosh said. "The people are nice. The city is nice. If we win, we can sell out every night. It's a work in progress. You hear that Toronto people have backed away. But people will respect the players and the franchise."

The main reason Bosh feels comfortable is the arrival of Bryan Colangelo, who left the Phoenix Suns to join the Raptors as president and general manager on Feb. 28. The 2005 NBA executive of the year is the mastermind behind the Suns' roster.

"To get a guy of that stature away from the place he was shows (the Raptors) are passionate about winning," Bosh said. "He's making changes, and he wants to make this franchise a winner." Along with keeping Bosh, the Raptors also have a 2006 all-rookie first-team selection in Charlie Villanueva on the roster and have the top pick in this month's draft.

While Bosh has said he isn't fond of the possibility of drafting Italian forward Andrea Bargnani - he would rather see the team add Texas forward and fellow Dallas native LaMarcus Aldridge - he isn't forcing his opinions.

"I'm rooting for the best pick, whether it's (Bargnani) or a trade," said Bosh, who has been working out in Dallas with Aldridge. "Whatever is best."

Aldridge had a overall impressive workout for the Raptors on Friday. Toronto also is considering Bargnani, who has averaged 16.5 points and 6.5 rebounds while leading Benetton Treviso to a 2-0 lead over Climanio Bologna in the Italian League Series A Finals.

The Raptors have scheduled workouts this week

with Gonzaga forward Adam Morrison, LSU forward Tyrus Thomas, Connecticut guard Rudy Gay, Villanova guard Randy Foye and possibly Washington guard Brandon Roy.
While Bosh is humble, it's also best for the Raptors to listen to their star to make sure he doesn't have a change of heart, ensuring there is something for Canadians to celebrate July 12.

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Old 06-18-2006, 01:53 PM   #2
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lol July 12th well be a good day for the Raptors franchise.
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Old 06-18-2006, 02:54 PM   #3
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How many Raptors fans really doubted that Bosh would resign? It seemed to be people from other teams who wanted him with the doubts.
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Old 06-20-2006, 12:57 AM   #4
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Thumbs up

It's nice to know that Bosh has softened his stance on Bargnani too. BC has got a good track record, and I'm sure he'll pick the best player in this draft.
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Old 06-20-2006, 01:31 AM   #5
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if it comes down to drafting bargnani, colangelo will convince bosh that he's the best fit.

sounds like bosh really respects colangelo and his eye for talent.

i also like the fact that he isn't pulling the "im the franchise player, you better keep me happy or else" act, ala Wince Carter.
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