This week in the NBA was as much about determining playoff participants and their playoff positioning as much as it was about honoring the past.
The Spurs, on Thursday, March 28th, at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas, honored one of their former greats Manu Ginobili. Ginobili retired in 2018 after a 16-year career all with the Spurs.
He went from the 57th pick in 1999 to help the Spurs win four NBA Titles from 2002-2018. His No. 20 jersey is now hoisted to the rafters of the Spurs homecourt building in memory of his contributions to one of the NBA’s better teams.
Prior to the honoring of Manu Ginobili, on Tuesday, March 26th, 2019 The Miami Heat also honored a former star in Chris Bosh raising his No.1 jersey to the rafters.
Unlike Ginobili who was drafted by the Spurs, Bosh was acquired by way of a sign and trade with the Toronto Raptors in the summer of 2010.
During Bosh’s six seasons in Miami, four of which were with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, the Miami Heat won two NBA Championships. Also, unlike Ginobili who retired due to age, Bosh’s career was cut short due to health concerns specifically blood clots.
Chris Bosh’s ceremony in Miami raises an intriguing question. Bosh did play 13 seasons in the NBA and seven of them with the Toronto Raptors.
During that time, his final five years in Toronto specifically, he was a dominant All-Star quality player and Toronto’s best during that era.
The question is should Bosh be honored and have his No. 4 jersey retired in Toronto as well? The answer is yes and here is why.
#1 Toronto hasn't retired any former players' jerseys yet
The Toronto Raptors have been an NBA franchise since 1995. This is their 24th season in the NBA.
There are essentially three players in franchise history that deserve to have their jersey number immortalized from the Scotiabank Arena ceiling. Those three are Vince Carter, Chris Bosh, and DeMar DeRozan in order.
Next season will be the Raptors 25th year of operation. If Vince Carter, currently with the Atlanta Hawks, were to retire at the end of this season, the Raptors could do a double ceremony in their quarter-century anniversary season next year.
Both Vince Carter’s No. 15 and Chris Bosh’s No. 4 should be retired and both men recognized for their contributions to the organization's on-court past successes.
Carter was the star of the team when the Raptors made their first three playoff appearances from 2000-2002.
Bosh was the star of the Raptors when the team made their next two playoff efforts in 2007 and 2008. Someday, DeMar DeRozan should be honored as well in Toronto, but the first two retired jerseys by the Raptors should be Carter and Bosh.