July 03, 2009
Raptors point guard Jose Calderon is spending his summer in Spain teaching young basketball players and getting his body healthy. That was enough to attract fellow dinosaur Chris Bosh(notes) for a three-day visit; one which, according to BDL reader Andreas, the biggest Spanish sports newspaper, Marca, loved. Andreas breaks it down for us gringos:
Bosh seems to have been an instant success, and they are raving about him in the Spanish media (and believe me, they are normally not as kind as the US media).
The headline calls Chris Bosh an 'anti-diva,' and they are amazed that he makes as much money as Ronaldo (Real Madrid’s newest signing) yet still has a very different, to put it mildly, attitude towards himself and others.
They go on to talk about how he did everything with a smile, no matter how long the autograph signing sessions took. He joked around with the children and even said a few words in Spanish and so on. This may seem like normal behavior, but European sports fans are not used to it.
You know, that "NBA Cares" movement can feel ridiculous and staged at times (Jimmy Jackson, NBA legend), but you have to hand it to Commissioner Stern — the PR effect of having players come out in this fashion, especially when compared to the antics of some soccer stars and their egos, cannot be overstated.