Bosh: I'm the kind of player you can build around

By Marc Stein

DALLAS -- Don’t expect Chris Bosh to reveal his free-agent plans during his All-Star homecoming in Big D.

The Dallas native continues to insist that he doesn’t yet “have an answer” no matter how many people ask him to declare his intentions now.

He also notes that “things you like and dislike change daily,” which Bosh says makes it “impossible almost to not only predict the future but predict your feelings” when free agency is still more than four months away.

Bosh, though, did have some encouraging words for the Raptors’ edgy fan base to balance out the open-to-interpretation nature of those quotes when he sat down Thursday to tape an interview for ESPN Radio’s “Meet The All-Stars” show that airs Saturday night at 6 p.m.

First Bosh scoffed at folks who think he’s already made his decision to leave the league’s only Canadian franchise.

“He’s gone, it’s over, it’s done,” Bosh said in a mocking tone.

Then Bosh revealed that he’s not necessarily interested in playing anywhere that he’s not the clear-cut franchise player.

“That’s a good question,” Bosh said when asked by ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher if he’s bothered by the widespread perception that he’s determined to follow either LeBron James or Dwyane Wade by signing on with one of the teams they choose starting July 1.

“It’s funny you say that, because I was thinking about it. I was just looking at what people say and it’s like, ‘Chris is going to go here and play with him or this, this and that.’ I’m like, ‘Wait a minute.’ I feel like I should be built around. And maybe that’s just my ego talking, but I feel that I’m a very good player in this league and I’m only going to get better. So … maybe we should be getting somebody [in Toronto].”

Bosh is sure to field more probing questions about his future Friday when he meets the bulk of the media in town to cover All-Star Weekend. But the above comments, at the very least, give more insight into our assertion made back in November that Bosh likes his situation in Toronto more than many of us south of the border want to believe.

There’s still no guarantee that he’ll stay with the Raps, but it’s clear that the combination of playing in a cosmopolitan city he likes while also ranking as the unquestioned face of the franchise holds great appeal.

And Bosh’s Raptors, at the very least, have convinced the rest of the league that he is thoroughly unavailable in trade talks as the league’s Feb. 18 trading deadline approaches. Any serious discussion about his future is apparently on hold until after the season.

Yet Bosh did acknowledge that he will consult his Team USA colleagues James and Wade, for advice if nothing else, before re-signing with the Raptors or orchestrating a sign-and-trade move elsewhere.

“There’s nothing wrong with picking each guys' brain to see where they’re at and how they feel,” Bosh said. “I think talking to other people [is something] that'll help you make your decision a little bit more.”

Said Wade when asked during his own taping Thursday about behind-the-scenes lobbying: “It goes on at every All-Star Weekend. It’s been going on for the last couple [All-Star] weekends. It’s always fun to recruit. Everybody’s recruiting.”