A look back: Bosh’s stellar career with the Raptors

Jan 8, 2010; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia 76ers forward Thaddeus Young (21) is defended by Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh (4) during the fourth quarter at the Wachovia Center. Toronto defeated Philadelphia 108-106. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Bosh became a champion in Miami, but his name was made in Toronto.

Bosh was part of the illustrious 2003 NBA draft class, being taken No. 4 overall in the first round by the Raptors. Coming out of Georgia Tech, he was one of the best bigs in the draft.

During his lone season in college, Bosh averaged 15.6 points per game and 9.0 rebounds for the Yellow Jackets. According to Sports Reference, he ranked eighth in the ACC in points and second in rebounds during the 2002-03 season.

As a predecessor of the modern big, Bosh was a force on both ends of the floor while with the Raptors.

He excelled in multiple areas, whether it was posting up, taking opponents to the rim or shooting from the perimeter. Bosh flashed his potential during his rookie season, and according to NBA.com stats, he ranked fifth among rookies in points per game (11.5) and first in rebounds (7.4).

Bosh only went up after his rookie season, and perhaps his best year with the Raptors was his last. He scored a career-high 24.0 points per game and grabbed a career-high 10.8 rebounds during the 2009-10 season. Bosh averaged a double-double three times in his career — all of them were with the Raptors.

An 11-time All-Star, five of Bosh’s appearances came when he was in Toronto. He didn’t have much playoff success in Toronto, failing to get past the first round in 2007 and 2008.

Playoff success came later in Bosh’s career, when he joined Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in Miami during the summer of 2010. Bosh was pivotal for the Heat’s back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013. He was their defensive anchor in the middle, and he led the team in blocks per game (1.4) during the 2012-13 season.

Along with his defensive presence, Bosh spaced the floor on offense. According to Basketball Reference, he shot 53.8% from deep during the 2012 playoffs and 40.5% during the 2013 postseason.

After James returned to Cleveland in the summer of 2014, Bosh had his best individual season as a member of the Heat. The production of his Toronto days returned, as he scored 21.1 points per game and grabbed 7.0 rebounds during the 2014-15 season.

Bosh was on his way to continue thriving with the Heat, but his career unfortunately ended prematurely. During February 2015, Bosh suffered blood clots on one of his lungs, and he missed the rest of the 2014-15 campaign.

Bosh played 53 games the following season, but blood clots in his calf appeared during February 2016. He missed the last 29 games of the season, and he retired during March 2019, when the Heat retired his No. 1 jersey.

Though his legacy is with the Heat, Bosh is still one of the best Raptors ever. He ranks second on the Raptors’ all-time leading scoring list and is first in total rebounds.