Chris Bosh‘s time alongside LeBron James and Dwayne Wade in Miami cemented his legacy, but he didn’t need either one of the other Heatles to prove himself as one of basketball’s all-time greats. The 11-time all-star went ring chasing and sacrificed a lot to win two titles, but he had already cemented what would become the biggest accomplishment of his career before he even landed in South Beach.
Bosh signed with the Heat in 2010 and became the third member of the Big Three. Without heading to Miami, he might have ended his career ringless. But he didn’t need James or Wade to earn a spot in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Bosh did that on his own over the course of his first seven years in the league.
Chris Bosh will be inducted into the Hall of Fame as part of the Class of 2021
Bosh — along with Chris Webber, Paul Pierce, and Ben Wallace — is set to join the other NBA greats as a member of the Hoop Hall. The former Georgia Tech Yellowjacket is best known as the third member of the Heat’s Big Three. Bosh won back-to-back titles alongside James and Wade in 2012 and 2013.
Bosh nearly averaged a double-double during a career that ended prematurely due to health issues. He scored more than 19 points and added almost 8 rebounds per game on 49.4% shooting over his 13 NBA seasons.
His status as part of one of the most recognizable teams in league history surely played a part in his Hall of Fame candidacy.
But it certainly wasn’t the only part.
Bosh was at his individual best as a member of the Toronto Raptors
Bosh was the No. 4 overall pick in 2003, one selection ahead of Wade. In his rookie season, CB4 averaged 11.5 points and 7.4 rebounds as a 19-year-old on a Raptors’ team led by Vince Carter that finished 33-49 in the Eastern Conference. Bosh played one more season with Carter, who then demanded out of Toronto and was traded to New Jersey.
Bosh officially took over as the Raptors’ franchise player.
As the team’s leading man, the 6-foot-11 center averaged a double-double for the first time in his career. Over the ensuing five seasons, he averaged 22.8 points and 9.9 rebounds per game on 50% shooting. He was named to the all-star team five straight times and was named All-NBA Second-Team in 2006-07.
But Toronto only made the playoffs twice in that span, losing in the first round both times. The best player Bosh teamed up with those two years was Andrea Bargnani. The Raptors weren’t championship contenders, his contract was up, and the King of Dragons made a decision (though not The Decision).
Eventually, Bosh decided joining James and Wade was the best path to winning championships
In an article on The Player’s Tribune, Bosh wrote:
We won two.
Not many guys win one. We won two. We won two, and went back-to-back. That means we won ’em, and we came back, and we defended ’em. I’m proud of that.Chris Bosh in a piece on The Player’s Tribune
But even if he had never left Canada, Bosh still had the resume of a Hall of Famer. Individually, he likely would have had a better statistical career had he stayed with the Raptors.
Though it’s hard to squabble with Bosh’s decision — he made the NBA finals every year he was paired with both James and Wade. The trio won back-to-back NBA titles.
He left Toronto for a chance to win, and he did.
All statistics courtesy of Basketball-Reference.