Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Loudmouth Stephen A. Smith Well Off the Mark

Loudmouth ESPN reporter Stephen A. Smith's job is to deliver news out of the NBA. Like any journalist, he needs to use reliable sources to find out information for him to be able to break stories. His latest piece of scuttlebutt is that Toronto Raptors forward Chris Bosh wants out of Toronto either now, or after next season and that would certainly qualify as a major scoop.

If it were true.

Smith reported on Sunday that Bosh has already told Raptors General Manager Bryan Colangelo that he won't be staying with the team beyond 2010 when his current contract expires.

Both Bosh and Colangelo spoke after the story broke on Monday and denied that they had had any such conversation.

"No. No. No, I haven't told him that," Bosh told reporters after practice.

"It[the conversation] obviously didn't happen" fumed Colangelo.

Even when he is clearly incensed by having to comment on statements like this, Colangelo remains calm in his delivery and his tone.

With the Raptors season dead in the water however, it was the last thing he needed on a Monday morning. The suave and slick boss has looked anything but lately and this controversy was the last thing he needed.

Now that both the player and GM have denied that Smith's alleged conversation ever took place, the onus is on Smith to come out and prove where he got his information from. Either he is a liar or both Bosh and Colangelo are. If Smith can't prove his information to be correct, then he should be forced to admit it.

It's one thing to have an opinion, it's another to completely fabricate an entire conversation.

This is what infuriated Colangelo further. "It's one of those things that unfortunately I guess there's an obligation to answer the question. ... There just doesn't seem to a lot of accountability with respect to the topic sometimes" he added, as if to challenge Smith to prove himself.

Bosh may well leave the Raptors in 2010 and with the way the team is playing at the moment, it wouldn't be a surprise. They have no discipline and no heart and are one of the softest teams in the league, yet Bosh also needs to shoulder much of the blame.

He has let himself and his team mates down lately and needs to pick up his game.

Colangelo too. Between them, they have failed the Raptors this season. Bosh by sulking and Colangelo for continuing to show blind faith in a roster that is flawed.

Perhaps it's Colangelo's ego that prevents him from admitting that his trade for Jermaine O'Neal has failed, but he won't. At the start of the season, he proudly boasted that he had assembled the strongest team "on paper" since his arrival in February 2006, but he has been proven beyond doubt that is not the case.

This Raptors team might have some good individual talent, but they lack desire and heart. Never knowing how to hold onto a lead or how to close out a game, they have no backbone. When the going gets tough, they feebly crumble and hide like little boys.

Colangelo has endured a dream run with the Raptors to this point into his tenure, but now the pressure is on for him to deliver. For a while there would have been no doubting that he would be able to turn things around, but times have changed and he is struggling as badly as the team he has built is.

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