Who Doesn't Like Chris Bosh?

TrueHoop reader Sawan sent me a link to Richie Whitt's ornate and massive Chris Bosh profile. Bosh may come off a little bit goodie-two-shoes-honor-roll-student for some, but he's real, smart, and incredibly good. As the article makes clear, this young man is a real testament to, among other things, the power of growing up in a loving and supportive environment. All those people who hate the NBA for whatever reason--they just need to learn more about Chris Bosh.

In a sweet little bit of revenge, Whitt describes Bosh hosting a big neighborhood party on the courts where he and his dad used to play more than a decade ago. They're winning back the court, in a sense, because back in the day they sometimes got chased off by thugs:

"We're just there playing, having a good time with some other kids when these guys come up and get up in my face, acting all crazy," says Noel. "I didn't want any trouble, especially with Chris there. But I sure didn't want to let them run us off that court either."

Says Chris, "It was just some guys trying to act tough, punking us. They wanted us to know it was their court, and for whatever reason, we weren't supposed to play on it. I'll never forget it. But back then I think it was a bigger deal to Dad than me."

To Chris, evacuating Phelps and relocating 100 yards across the street to J.P. Sparks Elementary School's puny playground was a change of venue that didn't mean much to his pre-ordained rise to fame and fortune through Lincoln High School, Georgia Tech and the Toronto Raptors. But to Noel, being bullied by those punks onto a cracked, sloped, weed-infested slab of asphalt with no shade and no nets was as indelible as it was embarrassing.

"I pray that some of those same jokers are here today," Noel says. "I hope they're waiting in line to get Chris' autograph or some of his free shoes. That would be justice."