Did you notice that through all the venom and vitriol directed toward the Miami Heat and their NBA Finals loss to the Dallas Mavericks, that none was aimed Heat forward Chris Bosh? Remember him? He’s the third member of Miami’s Big Three. He was on stage with LeBron James and Dwayne Wade when they made their over-the-top debut last summer. You remember. They promised to win five, six, maybe seven championships. Making the NBA Finals would be a major accomplishment for most teams, but the Heat victimized themselves. It truly was a championship or bust season. There’s no point in piling on LeBron right now. Besides, everyone else is doing that for me. I’d rather examine why everyone seems to hate LeBron James, but almost no one has a bad word to say about Chris Bosh.
LeBron James and Chris Bosh are essentially the same player. Both were “Mr. Basketball” in their respective home states of Ohio and Texas. Both were drafted in 2003; James at #1 and Bosh at #4. Incidentally, Bosh was taken ahead of Dwayne Wade – who was drafted at #5 by the Heat. James and Bosh meant everything to their former teams in Cleveland and Toronto respectively. While James is Cleveland’s all-time leading scorer, Bosh is Toronto’s all-time leader in scoring, rebounds, and blocks. Both men left their former teams in tough situations. Cleveland won only 19 games and Toronto captured a mere 22 victories during the 2010-2011 season. Again, why so much anger toward LeBron and not so much toward Bosh?
One word: attitude. Bosh played hard all season, was a team player, and made the NBA All-Star Team for a sixth time in his eight seasons. LeBron, however, couldn’t get out of his own way. The Decision television special and the events leading up to it made him a lightning rod for criticism. When he took “his talents to South Beach,” he also buried his reputation in the sand down there as well. During the NBA Finals, LeBron and Wade decided to make fun of Dirk Nowitzki in front of a Dallas TV camera. Bosh was conspicuously absent from the antics. Even when LeBron took shots at the quality of his detractors’ lives after the Finals loss, Bosh was nowhere to be seen.
I think somewhere in the midst of fake coughs and insults, Bosh distanced himself from his immature teammates. Funny how three guys who are essentially the same age have vastly different levels of maturity. This Heat team would lead you to believe that stardom and maturity have an inverse relationship. Whatever the case, Bosh has found a way to be humble and accepting of his role on the team. Bosh provides a good example for kids – especially when they have so-called rivalry games. People can be hateful of your team colors, but can still respect you and your character. By the way, some have made fun of Bosh for crying after the NBA Finals loss. You’d cry too if you realized that you’re trapped in basketball’s version of The Hangover – and your character is “Stu.” Until next time…
Be a Good Sport!