Stephen A. Smith's latest ESPN "scoop" is being met with catcalls and derision by its subject, Chris Bosh of the Toronto Raptors, and a Toronto Star reporter who called Smith an "entertainer."

Hmm, I hope this doesn't hurt Stephen A's impeccable journalism reputation.

On Sunday, Smith reported on ESPN that Bosh "had already told" the Raptors that he wouldn't re-sign in Toronto when he contract expires in 2010. Not so, says Bosh. From the Toronto Star:

The apparently non-issue arose Sunday when ESPN entertainer Stephen A. Smith boldly stated that the 24-year-old Bosh had told team officials he was leaving in a season and a half, not even citing anonymous sources. It brought a quick denial today from both Bosh and Colangelo.

"It was a surprise to me and I can't be responsible for what other people say so ...," said Bosh, his voice trailing off in disgust. "I understand people are entitled to an opinion but making stuff up? We can't do that. Let's all be fair."

So the question here remains, does ESPN have any editorial oversight whatsoever? How do you report on something like this and not even cite an anonymous source? Stephen A. addressed this on his blog last night.

In case anyone didn't comprehend what I reported first on ESPNews Sunday morning, then SportsCenter Monday night, let me be clear: My sources tell me Chris Bosh wants out of Toronto. Preferably before 2010, when he's free to opt out of his contract. They've also informed me Bosh has quietly made the Raptors aware of this, that he wouldn't mind interest from Miami or Dallas, at all, and that he's hopeful his days as a Raptor will come to an end sooner than when the LeBron James' Sweepstakes hits the fan in 2010.

Both Bosh and Raptors' President, Bryan Colangelo have emphatically denied Bosh has made the Raptors aware of anything. Feel free to believe them if you want to. And while you're at it, feel free to to conveniently forget that Damon Stoudamire, Marcus Camby, Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter all echoed similar sentiments before they skipped town, too.

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So "Bosh has already told the Raptors" has been downgraded to "Bosh has quietly made the Raptors aware of this." But how quietly, one wonders? Hallmark card? Twitter? Honey bee hive colony dance?

By the way, is the comments section on Stephen A's blog being censored? I looked over the past seven posts, and not a negative comment to be found. That seems very odd ... unbelievable, actually.

Bosh Shoots Down Trade Talk [Toronto Star]
Boshed [Stephen A. Smith Blog]