The NBA Season is set to tipoff on October 28th and runners-up to the NBA crown, the Miami Heat, are going to have a new look.
It is a new look because LeBron James decided to leave South Beach and take his talent back home to Ohio and play for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
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This left the Heat with a pocket full of money that they gave to Chris Bosh to be the cornerstone of the franchise for the foreseeable future.
Chris Bosh agreed to a 5-year/$118 million deal in the offseason which pretty much says that he is “The Man” now that Lebron James is not going to be in a Heat uniform.
With the season rapidly approaching, it is starting to sink in for Bosh that all the hopes and aspirations for the franchise and Heat fans everywhere are going to fall on his 6-foot-10 230 pound frame.
In a piece written by Ira Winderman for the South Beach Sun Sentinel, Bosh acknowledged the fact that he cannot be as reserved as he was in the past and that his voice is going to have to be heard this year in the locker room:
“I want to go to guys and make sure I’m talking a little more. Before, I was kind of more reserved, more quiet, because I could do that. I think now I’m in a situation where I have to help out a lot of guys.”
When you are getting the kind of “duckets” that Bosh is going to be receiving this year, the franchise is expecting him to be that much more vocal on the floor and in the locker room.
Mar 31, 2014; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat center Chris Bosh (1) dunks the ball against the Toronto Raptors in the second half at American Airlines Arena. The Heat won 93-83. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports
He does not have someone like LeBron James to take the lead this season, and with Dwayne Wade getting up in basketball years, the time is now for Bosh to establish himself as the leader of this year’s Heat.
Bosh has benefitted and grown as a player over the last four years in his mind, and feels that he is ready to be a more vocal leader. He said as much in that same South Beach Sun Sentinel piece:
“I think now, just going through what we’ve gone through in the past four years, on and off the court, it’s helped me tremendously, I can kind of relate to people a little more and I can break out of my shell a little faster than normal. “I think, for me, that’s the part where I have to get better at, is really corralling the guys, is helping D.Wade (Dwayne Wade) and U.D. (Udonis Haslem) out in the locker room and being a voice.”
Last year Chris Bosh averaged 16.2 points and 6.6 rebounds per game and played 32 minutes per game. Those numbers and those minutes will have to go up this season in order for the Heat to be competitive.
The 32 minutes per contest that Bosh logged last season was actually a career low. He is capable of being on the floor for 35 to 38 minutes this season which is closer to his career average.
While he is on the floor he is going to have to be “The Man” on both ends of the floor. Once upon a time he would have been able to get away with being a player in a support role–now he is going to have to be the pulse of the team, and galvanize his team to victories.
Simply put, Bosh has more responsibility on his plate. Now that he has been part of two NBA Championship winning teams in South Beach, expectation is not going to change just because “The King” is no longer seated in his American Airlines Arena throne.
Chris Bosh has to carry the mantle now, and a scepter of leadership that LeBron left behind, has been bestowed on him. Hopefully he is truly ready for it.