Patience and being in the right place at the right time can reap big rewards sometimes in life. Former Georgia Tech standout forward turned NBA star Chris Bosh is a prime example of that.
When Bosh and the rest of the Miami Heat “Big 3″ opted out of their deals, he did not act in haste to find more money. When the Houston Rockets put 4-years/$88 million on the wood for Bosh’s services, he did not jump at the chance immediately to run back to his home state of Texas to play ball. Bosh was quiet and waited patiently.
That patience paid off big time once LeBron James made the decision to go back home to Ohio and play for the Cleveland Cavaliers again. With that decision, Bosh was able to reel in the max contract that he was seeking to the tune of 5-years/$118 million to stay in Miami. The contract that Bosh signed is a huge statement by Pat Riley and the Miami Heat brass that they want Chris Bosh to be a cornerstone for the franchise now that LeBron James has moved on, so they may sustain their status as one of the elite teams in the league. This is also going to be a big responsibility for a player that dialed back his game for the past four seasons in order for the Heat to experience the success they had.
Bosh sacrificed a whole lot in order to make the triumvirate of himself, King James, and D-Wade a functional unit. Bosh knew that in order for the team to succeed, he was going to have to not only take less shots, but also change the way he played on the floor. Bosh became more of a stretch power forward for the Heat, drawing bigs out of the key so James and Wade had an easier time operating close to the basket and finding cutters for passes going toward the rim.
Bosh was used to being the man after playing seven seasons in Toronto where he was getting to put up 16 shots per night while dropping 20.2 points per game on the stat sheet. When he got to Miami he dialed his shot volume back to about 12 to 13 shots per game, and his scoring average slowly went backwards. In his four seasons in Miami, Bosh averaged 17.3 ppg on 50.9% shooting from the floor. Bosh, however, did shoot over 50% in back to back seasons for the first time in his career.
Bosh’s sacrifice is a big reason why Miami did make four consecutive NBA Finals appearances and won two NBA titles. Well his sacrifice and the fact that they had the best player on the planet on their team is the reason for Miami’s success. However, the fact of the matter is Chris Bosh was selfless and that is being handsomely rewarded now.
Bosh caught a lot of flack for playing the way that he has the past four years with the Heat. Fans said that he had become soft and that he had lost his edge. People also felt that he was becoming too perimeter oriented, especially since he averaged a career high 2.8 three-point attempts per night this past season. What people failed to realize is that maybe that was what the Heat expected of him for the design of their offense.
The only legitimate knock that fans could have against Bosh was the fact that his rebounding numbers plummeted each season while he was with the “Big 3″. Bosh averaged 9.4 boards in seven seasons with the Raptors as compared to 7.4 boards with the Heat. The rebounding number is something that should have been maintained because that is an effort stat.
Pat Riley is giving Chris Bosh this lucrative contract and expecting big results. Bosh is going to have to integrate some of his old ways back into his game. Meaning he is going to have to be more aggressive on the boards and play closer to the basket offensively. He will still be able to launch a trey every so often, but he is really going to have to start operating in the paint again if Miami is going to have further success.
There is no way that Pat Riley is paying Bosh over $20 million per year to only grab seven boards per night. The Bosh of old is going to have to show up so Riley and the Heat can feel like they are getting their money’s worth. Riley knows he wants to see some of the old Bosh, and actually Chris Bosh knows he has to be that guy again. He is going to have to be the main man in Miami now that LBJ is no longer there. Whether he delivers or not remains to be seen.
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