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Another Hindsight Hack Job

Chris Bosh repeatedly made it a point during his transition to the Miami Heat to publicly thank fans, former Bosh-suit teammates and executives on his way out of Toronto.

Although it had long been clear that Bosh was the most likely of the major free agents to jump ship and leave his franchise, there at least seemed to be a willingness from Bosh and the Raptors front office to work together on a divorce that would satisfy the needs of both sides.

Still, all along, there seemed to be a disconnect between what was said publicly between Bosh and Raptors GM Bryan Colangelo and what actually was felt behind closed doors.

Apparently, those doors have blown open now. And if Bosh and LeBron James share anything in common beyond their move to the Heat and the championship aspirations and criticism that came with it, it's the backlash from the front-offices of their former teams.

The Toronto Sun reported in Tuesday's editions some rather scathing comments from Colangelo, who headed down a similar path Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert took in questioning LeBron's competitiveness at the end of the season.

According to quotes taken from Colangelo's interview with a local sports talk show, the Sun reported that Colangelo not only took slightly-veiled shots at Bosh's recovery from injuries, but also his desire to mesh with the pieces the Raptors tried to place around him in recent years.

Bosh had been dealing with a number of nagging injuries over the second half of the season.

"Despite limited swelling and any excessive damage on an MRI, he felt like he needed to sit for six more games ... I’m not even questioning Chris’ injury. I’m telling you he was cleared to play subject to tolerance on his part, and the tolerance just apparently wasn’t there and he chose not to play,” Colangelo said.

“The fact that our season was spiraling downward and we were hoping he’d come back sooner and we were also dealing with a few other things at that point ... we were really struggling there.”

At that point, the Raptors were in the midst of tumbling from fifth place in the Eastern Conference playoff  race to completely out of the postseason picture. Bosh also sustained a facial fracture in the final days of the regular season that knocked him out of the remaining games.

“Whether he was mentally checked out or just wasn’t quite into it down the stretch, he wasn’t the same guy. I think everybody saw that, but no one wanted to acknowledge it,” Colangelo said.

Now, apparently, no one is willing to hold back.

“I never felt we were quite in the game (in terms of signing Bosh to a new contract). There was too much out there, too much built up for him to take an easy out here, and he decided to do that.”

If the comments are reported accurately, it's safe to say that Colangelo didn't quite go Gilbert in torching Bosh after he bolted for Miami. But Colangelo also didn't stray to far from that territory.

Bosh-Heat Repeatedly lost in all of this is the fact that Bosh, James and Wade had every right as free agents to do what they did. Still, the criticism and questioning of their character was inevitable.

Having said that, I'm not sure Bosh can be blamed for Hedo Turkoglu flaming out the moment he arrived in Toronto. And you'd have a hard time naming any other player on that roster who would clearly start on any teams that made the playoffs in the East last season.

On the flip side, I've always felt Toronto gets a bad rap from star players who seem to despise going there or playing there for any length of time. The crowd support is great, the passion for basketball is respectable and Colangelo has been daring and aggressive in trying to make things work there.

But now, there's only more fuel for the Heat's fire. As if the team didn't generate enough already with its controversially successful offseason.

If Colangelo feels that Bosh never really gave the Raptors a chance in his free agency, and didn't do enough to salvage the season down the stretch, he's got the insight and right to justify his case.

But it's also difficult to challenge Bosh on some level, considering he did push through some of those injuries and still put together a career season in his final one with the Raptors. He never publicly demanded a trade, never openly ripped his teammates and I can't remember him bashing the coaching staff or any of Colangelo's decisions that didn't necessarily work out.

Bosh quietly chose to walk away when he had the option to do so.

Apparently, that silent treatment was deafening to some in Toronto.

And now, Colangelo is speaking up for the other franchise, the other city scorned in this Heat coup.

(For live news, notes and updates on the Heat, follow me on Twitter @ twitter.com/WallaceNBAHeat. To post a question or join our live Heat chat each Thursday from 1-2 p.m., click here.)


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