I don't really understand people's fascination with tattoos. I am not opposed to tattoos for any moral reasons or from any societal perspective. When it comes to tattoos for me, I just don't see the longevity of the idea. For one thing, if I wanted to get a tattoo I can't think of one that I would want to have for longer than like two years. There is nothing that has meaning to me now or looks cool that I would think would be cool or have meaning to me in 2-3 years. I would regret having it. I mean, how young was Greg Ostertag when he got that Fred Flinstone tat? And how much does he regret it? Actually, maybe the fact that he doesn't regret it is what bothers me.
The other thing that we have all seen, is the grizzled world war II veteran at the beach with blue faded tattoos up and down his arms and you can't tell if he has an anchor or a naked woman on his bicep. Don't tell me that that guy isn't regretting the decisions of his youth. To me, tattoos just don't stand the test of time from a meaningful or physical standpoint. If some people would take a step back before getting a tattoo and really think about the long term ramifications, then many folks would stick to the permanent markers and henna designs.
This is one of the thousands of tattoos that the owner regrets each year.
And so we come to the Jazz offseason, an offseason that will undoubtedly bring about change and a different direction for the team. No matter what you think about this team from the last few years and no matter how badly you want Millsap, Boozer, and Okur to return, it just isn't going to happen. Sorry. So how have the majority of Jazz fans wanted to salvage the fact that their team may take a step backward next season? LET'S BRING IN CHRIS BOSH! MAKE IT HAPPEN KEVIN O'CONNOR! IF WE DON'T TRADE BOOZER FOR BOSH THEN OUR FRONT OFFICE STINKS! Let me make one thing very clear. Chris Bosh is a rebellious earring. He is sneaking out of the house after your parents go to sleep. He is a regrettable tattoo.
Chris Bosh may seem like a good idea, or even the missing piece to a Jazz championship, but I promise you that he is nothing short of a "sleazy rebound" after a Boozer breakup or a "mid-life crisis" such as buying a ferrari you can't afford, or getting ink you will regret even sooner than most. Here is why:
1. If you think Bosh is going to change the fortune of the Jazz, you need to put away your olympic-colored glasses- Chris Bosh is one of the better players in the league and that was evidenced by the fact that he was arguably the United States' best big man at the games. He is tall, long and athletic and to be honest, he matched up well against other countries big men, who, besides Gasol and Ming, are often smaller and quicker. But you need to remember that although Bosh was fantastic at the olympic games, he wasn't asked to do that much. He is a very good player, but good players can look like superstars when they play on a team with mostly superstars. Do you remember the olympic team that dominated the summer games in 2000? Off the top of your head, who played on that team? I am guessing that you could come up with Vince Carter. He was clearly the best player on that team, and he will forever be immortalized with that dunk he had, jumping over the head of the seven foot defender (I'm not going to look up his name). And after those games Vince Carter was the next big deal, the next Jordan. And 9 years later, he is the same incredibly talented, but disappointing player who can't lead a successful team. I'm not saying that Bosh's good performance at the olympics makes him not a superstar, but I am saying that he could be more Carter than Lebron or Kobe.
2. Bosh made $14.4 million last season and will make $15.8 million- That may seem like a reasonable amount to pay for one of the best players in the game, but it is a hefty paycheck. It is 30% more than Carlos Boozer is scheduled to make next season and I believe it is too much to pay Boozer also. That paycheck means that Toronto paid Bosh almost $500,000 per victory. Toronto went a paltry 33-49 in a conference full of less than average teams. And Toronto isn't devoid of talent. They weren't supposed to be juggernauts, but I believe that most people thought the Raptors would be a top 5 team in the East. They have decent players at each position except for shooting guard and had Jermaine O'neal and Bosh in the frontcourt. Add the fact that Andrea Bargnani had a career year and it is safe to say that while Bosh wasn't the cause of all the Raptors' ills, he certainly wasn't the doctor either. Bosh put up good numbers this season, but if he is really a superstar on an average team, you have to be more helpful and do more to pick up the slack. They were six games worse than a team that has no lowpost presence (Chicago) and a rookie point guard. Bosh's $16 million is in his last year, which is another big problem, because...
3. Bosh expects big money, max money, on his new contract- Since this will be Bosh's second max money contract, he can command something like $20-21 million starting salary and if you ask Bosh, he believes he is worth every penny. In fact, someone did ask Bosh if he was worth max money and he said, courtesy of The Toronto Sun:
"Without a doubt. I really don't see any negotiation about that part." He went on to say, "An old school guy told me: 'Take advantage. You can't play this game forever. Make sure you maximize your potential,'"
Or in other words, maximize your earning potential. I may be wrong here, but isn't many Jazz fans' beef with Carlos Boozer that he is unloyal and looking for a big pay day before he is looking for a good situation and a winning team? I know a lot of people feel that way. Carlos Boozer has never said anything as bold and self-loving as what Bosh has said. Even in these economic times, Bosh said there was no negotiation about whether or not he deserved $20+ million/ year after this season. That is up there with the Manny Ramirez comments.
Some of you may be thinking that Bosh will be worth even $20 million a year, because he is so good and will lead the Jazz to a title. But let's take a look at the numbers.
"I DESERVE TO BE PAID LIKE LEBRON, KOBE, AND WADE!!!" No, Chris, you really don't.
"I DESERVE TO BE PAID LIKE LEBRON, KOBE, AND WADE!!!" No, Chris, you really don't.
4. Bosh is not worth a max money contract- Chris Bosh can give you 20 points and 10 rebounds a game, making him part of this elite group of 5 or so guys, including Carlos Boozer and Al Jefferson. And like Boozer and Jefferson, Bosh isn't going to be the main guy on a championship team. Toronto is conceding as much and has been trying to pair Bosh with another star for the last two seasons.
First of all, Chris Bosh hasn't really improved as a player over the last 4 seasons. He has averaged between 22.3 and 22.7 points a game and 8.7 and 10.7 rebounds a game for the last four seasons. That means he is either really consistent or just not making strides forward. Doesn't that scare you a little bit? The guy is 25 years old and has perhaps hit his peak performance. Bosh has also shot over 50% from the field only once in his career. Bosh is a big man and John Stockton shot a better career field goal percentage than he has so far. That isn't good. For comparison's sake, Boozer is a career 54% field goal shooter, while Millsap is 52% over his career. Bosh is a career 48% shooter.
Bosh's relatively low field goal percentage is probably due to the fact that he settles for jumpshots. If you think that Bosh is a great finisher at the rim, then you may be surprised to hear some of these next statistics. If you go to NBA.com, there is this fantastic feature that will show you where players shoot all of there shots from. Chris Bosh shot only 41% of his shot attempts from inside 5 feet of the rim. Boozer shot 56% of his shots and Paul Millsap shot 72% of his shots from the same area. Now you know one of the reasons that I love Paul Millsap. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see why Millsap and Boozer shoot better from the field than Bosh every season. This stat is also surprising because Chris Bosh is very effective at getting to the line when he attacks the basket, averaging 8 free throws a game, but truthfully, he should be attacking the rim much much more. He perhaps just loves the jumpshot.
So to summarize his offensive game, Bosh is a slight upgrade over Carlos Boozer, but essentially, other than this last season, he is really comparable to Boozer offensively. Millsap was better than Boozer this last season. Did I mention that Bosh will be more than $3 million more expensive than Boozer? Okay. Just to make sure you heard.
I am sure that most of you are fine with Bosh's offensive numbers because he is such a better defender than any of the Jazz's power forwards. This might be true, but if you are going to give a guy max money or have him be your main man, he needs to be a big help on the defensive side of the ball as well as a scorer. I must admit, that I believe defensive stats are more difficult to apply to defensive ability than offensive stats to offensive efficiency, but I think we can do so with Bosh. Bosh is longer and taller than either Boozer or Millsap, but he is also skinnier than either of those guys. He is long, but probably not adding more muscle or bulk to his frame. But let's look at some numbers closely.
First of all Bosh averaged 7 defensive rebounds and 1 steal and 1 block a game. I am a little disappointed in only one block a game, but I also admit that these stats don't tell much about his defensive ability. I can do better. Plus/minus statistics don't tell the entire story, but I think they can shed some light. The Raptors had an overall plus/minus of -221 and when Chris Bosh was on the floor the Raptors were -84. That was good for 12th best point differential on his team behind one other starter. In fact, over his career, Bosh has only had a positive point differential in one season. I know what you are thinking. The Raptors were a bad team and of course Bosh's numbers will be negative overall. Dwayne Wade was on a mediocre to bad team and he had a + 212 this season. And to drive the point home even further, the Golden State Warriors had the same -2.7 point differential as the Toronto Raptors and Rony Turiaf, the Warriors starting power forward had a +/- of only -50. Just something to consider.
But I can do even better. Chris Bosh played along side of Jermaine O'neal for the first 50 games of the season. O'neal isn't a fantastic player, but I think most people would agree that he is an average defender, maybe even above average. So defensively, Bosh wasn't manning the paint all alone. But I went through the first 50 games of the season and looked at the points scored by opposing starting power forwards. Opposing starting power forwards scored an average of 18.9 points per game against the Raptors. Bosh scored 22.7 points over those same 50 games. You may be thinking that a personal +3 differential isn't bad, but some of those games, Bosh was matched up against guys like Ben Wallace, or Jason Thompson. Bosh was clearly the better offensive power forward in 85% of those 50 games. Not to mention that Bosh only scored 14.5 points a game on less than 40% shooting in his games against SA, Cleveland, Boston, and the LA Lakers. That is not impressive for the best player on a team.
I actually agree with Jazz fans that overall, Chris Bosh would be an upgrade over Carlos Boozer. I do think that Bosh would fit in well with the Jazz and would make the Jazz a good team. But Chris Bosh isn't going to send the Jazz over the top next season. If Carlos Boozer is a B minus player, then Bosh is a B or a B+ at best. I would hesitate paying Bosh his money next season and there is no way I would pay him the next max contract. And if I were the Jazz, in financial staits this upcoming season, I am saying no way to bringing in Chris Bosh. It would cost you Boozer AND Okur at least.
So if you have read this piece and you are still thinking to yourself, "THE JAZZ NEED CHRIS BOSH! KEVIN O'CONNOR MAKE THIS HAPPEN PLEASE!!!! Then I ask you to please step back and look at the long-term ramifications. Bosh would most likely be making a one-year stop in Utah. We would have to start Millsap or Koufos along side Bosh and the Jazz would most likely be paying the luxury tax, losing millions of dollars. And I think our ceiling would be the second round of the playoffs most likely. Because like Carlos Boozer, Chris Bosh has been eaten alive by Pau Gasol and the Los Angeles Lakers.
And while we are on the subject of Pau Gasol, there are only 4 big men I would pay max money to in the league. Pau Gasol, Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett last year. And Yao Ming and Nowitzki are really close to entering that group. Nowitzki is so gifted, but not the defender I would like and Ming is fantastic but so injury prone. After that, a big man is too expensive and too entitled to think that they deserve the best money. After all, being an olympic gold medalist doesn't necessarily make you a superstar in the league.