We’ve been hard on Chris Bosh here at the Jones, what with “Like A Bosh” and all that. But we’re not the only ones. Basically everywhere you could find basketball talk for the past year-and-a-half has had something bad to say about Bosh at some point in time. ESPN, TNT, your dad, his friend Kevin, that weird guy at your pickup games — it’s been coming from all sides. A lot of it’s been deserved, but it’s still been pretty harsh.
And Chris Bosh, to his credit, admits that it got to him. From SLAM:
SLAM: You also pulled back your public persona, not tweeting so much or doing the fun YouTube videos. Was that a result of all the scrutiny?
CB: To some extent. I don’t miss it. I value privacy a little bit more than I used to. I was doing those things because I just wanted to have fun and show another side of me. Honestly, all of the negative attention we received last year sort of jaded me from the spotlight. I mean, all of a sudden I suck, I’m the butt of all the jokes… and here’s what I found most disturbing: These retired guys from the NBA—this fraternity that we were supposed to be part of—were leading the charge about our alleged failings. They should have been encouraging younger guys.
SLAM: Did all that bring you guys closer together?
CB: Absolutely. All this noise from the outside is what it is. We can’t do anything about it, but we’re going to lean on one another and help each other through it. We just have to play basketball and keep patting each other on the back. It encourages me to look out for young players even more. An old teammate told me early, “Look out for your guys. This is an exclusive fraternity.” I’ve always believed that, which is why it hurt so much to be attacked by guys we once considered our heroes.
I’m not one to feel bad for basketball players because they are in the spotlight — especially when it’s a guy in Chris Bosh’s situation, who made a pretty intentional choice to be more visible — but it does have to be disheartening to see everybody turn on you so fast. One day you’re an underrated player doing what you can with a limited roster, the next you’re the weak link, soft and a baby who just cries all the time. It’s easy to ignore when it’s some jerk for a Canadian basketball blog, but when it’s guys you grew up admiring, that has to be a huge bummer.
Unfortunately for Chris Bosh, he’ll always be the third wheel in Miami, playing alongside one of the most hated men in sports. That means he’ll always be an easy target, even if he keeps his head down and plays hard. That’s what happens when you sign up to play for a team that everyone wants to see lose. Pulling back from the public eye will help, but all it takes is one pass to the face and everyone is laughing at you again. That’s just how it goes nowadays.