Chris Bosh doesn’t seem like that bad of a guy. Usually when a player invites general mockery to the level that Bosh has over his 10-year NBA career — the last four years a whole lot more than the first six — it’s either because they’re a showy, difficult, unlikeable player, or because they outright suck. Bosh definitely doesn’t outright suck. In fact, he very well might finish his career with double-digit All-Star appearances, 20,000 points, and who even knows how many championships, and is already a likely Hall of Famer. And really, unless you work for a Toronto cable company, you probably wouldn’t call him an asshole, or even all that arrogant or diva-ish.
Yet, when you hear that a rapper claimed he slept with an NBA player’s wife, and that everyone had a good laugh on it on Twitter for a couple of days … it probably doesn’t take you that many guesses to divine the NBA player in question. Bosh has gotten the worst of it from just about everyone — from rappers, from fellow players, from internet search engines, even from this very blog on a couple occasions. It’s not his fault — well, it’s not entirely his fault –but even after the 2012 championship gave him what should have been the final necessary line item on an unimpeachable hoops resume, Bosh remains the league’s preeminent walking punchline, a status unlikely to be bequeathed anytime soon.
Same as it ever was. Here’s a chronological look back on four years’ worth (before that, few seemed to care enough about CB4 to make the effort) of noteworthy call-outs, insults and occasionally funny jokes laid out at the expense of one Christopher Wesson Bosh. And remember: If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then high-exposure dissing is probably top 10.
March 2nd, 2009: Shaquille O’Neal, “The RuPaul of Big Men”
After an unlikely 45-point performance with the Suns against Bosh’s Raptors in late January — the last 40-plus scoring night of Shaq’s career — Bosh explained the outing away a bit by calling O’Neal out for “camping down in the lane … I thought [the three-second violation] was a rule, but I guess no.” Shaq, always handy with the nicknames, responded with the first memorable dis of Chris Bosh’s pro caereer: “That’s strong words coming from the RuPaul of big men.” Shaq didn’t elaborate — he rarely does — but the pejorative nickname had a certain panache to it, and stuck for at least a couple of months.
Bosh didn’t help matters much by being humorless about the back-and-forth, acting hurt but not firing back — “It wasn’t funny … I thought we were cool. Whatever” — establishing the precendent of Bosh being a soft target. It wasn’t the last shot Shaq Fu would take at Bosh, later referring to the Miami Heat as the “Big Two,” though by December of last year, he had basically dropped the beef, saying “He’s a fabulous player, and he came back after missing a couple of weeks last year and actually helped the Heat win.” Of course, the compliment was at least a marginally backhanded one, as he still took a shot at Bosh’s lack of physicality.
November 12th, 2010: Skip Bayless, “Bosh Spice”
Taking Shaq’s criticism of Bosh to the next level, ESPN2 “First and Ten” provocateur and unapologetic prick Skip Bayless dubbed the Heat big man as “Bosh Spice” after the “Heatles” era got off to an underwhelming 5-4 start and Bosh posted a one-rebound performance against the New Orleans Hornets. The nickname took off, at least in Bayless’ head, and he continued to use the insulting appellation for Bosh for the next year, until Bosh actually showed up to defend himself on September 14th, 2011.
Typical of Bosh, he was not angry or indignant with Bayless. Rather, as with Shaq, he seemed slightly hurt and mostly passive about it. “My only problem is just the whole misuse of the name. My family, we take a lot of pride in our name, and my ancestors … we’re very prideful with the Bosh name. I don’t like it being made fun of.” Bayless was unsurprisingly unremorseful, saying the nickname was “fitting and accurate, because occasionally, early on with this team, I thought you were soft and passive and unaggressive.” Bosh seemed oddly OK with this, acknowledging “I think most of it is my fault … I did have a chance to kinda respond to it just through playing.”
Co-host Jemele Hill actually took Bayless to task way more than Bosh himself — probably not helping Bosh’s rep much in the process — calling Skip out for the gender-based criticism, saying “anytime you’re comparing a man to a woman, you’re taking it to a totally different place.” Bayless’ always-responsible response: “I can’t stop what people do on Twitter.”
November 17th, 2010: The Basketball Jones, “Like a Bosh”
The Jones was relatively early on the anti-Bosh bandwagon, after his 2010 offseason behavior turned off many (especially those north of the border), what with the Twittering and the howling and what have you, and his 2010-11 season got off to a decidedly underwhelming start. Hence, “Like a Bosh,” the Lonely Island-parodying (not as paradoxical as it sounds!) rap anthem highlighting the devolution of Bosh’s credibility as a basketball player and general public figure, though rightly acknowledging in its postscript that we were all probably overreacting to the last few months a little bit.
The video was arguably TBJ’s most successful, with over 700,000 views on YouTube, clearly tapping into a growing national frustration (and schadenfreude-laden amusement) with Bosh.
January 7th, 2011: Google, Letting Bosh know what people really think
A few months after “Like a Bosh,” our Scott Carefoot noticed that Google autofill revealed North America’s consensus impression of Chris Bosh to not be a particularly positive one:
In present day, Google America’s take on Bosh still isn’t particularly great, though things have improved a little:
No more “douche” or “RuPaul,” and at least the “overrated” now has an “underrated” to go with it. Baby steps.
January 30th, 2011: Kevin Durant, “Fake tough guy”
When the humblest guy in the NBA — the guy who needs a full major shoe company ad campaign to dissuade the notion that he’s too nice — is calling out your toughness, you know you’re in a bad way. Bosh and Kevin Durant mixed it up some in a Heat victory over the Thunder (a little heated talking, nothing really of note) but the Heat big man got under KD’s skin, enough so that he felt like calling him out a little after the game. “He’s on a good team now so he thinks he can talk a little bit,” Durant went in. “There are a lot of fake tough guys in this league and he’s one of them … He’s a nice guy. I’m not going to let that type of person say something to me like that.”
It would be years before Durant said or did anything even remotely controversial again. Bosh would get his revenge on Durant and friends a couple Junes later, though Durant still got at least one good shot in on the FTG:
June 11th, 2011: Chicago radio station WGCI, “Chris Bosh Are You Gay?” Song
At the height of anti-Bosh mania, just before the Heat lost in the Finals to the Mavericks to the delight of everyone north of South Beach (but after they beat the Bulls in the Eastern Conference finals), Tony Sculfield and the Morning Riot (morning show for Chicago hip-hop radio station WGCI) recorded a video entitled “Chris Bosh Are You Gay?,” presumably making fun of the player’s effete mannerisms and recent basketball failures. It’s hard to say for sure, as the video has since been pulled from YouTube, likely for being incredibly dumb and offensive.
“I never thought Chicago would stoop to Cleveland style levels of saltiness,” wrote Robert Littal of Black Sports Online in a comment that probably makes a lot more sense to Midwestern sports radio denizens. “But I think I have underestimated the amount of hate the Miami Heat have across the country.” Evidently.
Feb. 23rd, 2012: Nicki Minaj, “All you hos crying / Christopher Bosh”
Easily the best Chris Bosh-related lyrical dis, and possibly the all-time greatest NBA reference to come out of the sports-enthused Young Money crew, Nicki Minaj did Bosh no favors on the title track to her “Roman Reloaded” LP, referencing Bosh’s proclivity towards locker-room tears, both in the widely publicized March ’11 “CryGate” incident with the Heat, and later that June, when Bosh was captured crying after the Finals loss. “I hear the slick s–t / B—h you washed / All you hos crying / Christopher Bosh.” Nicki being a female MC didn’t help much with the Femme Bosh mocking, and the fact that she used his full name seemed somehow particularly devastating.
Jun. 29th, 2012: The Onion, “Chris Bosh Proves Himself to Not Be an Ostrich By Winning Championship”
Chris Bosh took a lot of abuse from the Onion over his first two seasons in the spotlight, resulting in stories like “Heat Lose Chris Bosh Indefinitely to Severe Poetic Justice,” “Chris Bosh Announces Plan to Spend NBA Lockout Playing Basketball Alone in Driveway,” and perhaps most memorably, “Chris Bosh’s Frightening Night Locked in a Hot Car.” After Bosh’s first championship last summer, the Onion congratulated him by officially concluding that the long-necked forward was not actually an ostrich. “He stepped up his game, won his ring, and finally showed those human characteristics he’s been lacking those first seven years in the league,” yelled one of the fake PTI-type commentators in the video segment.
Dec. 24th, 2012: Skillz, “I ain’t need to see that Chris Bosh facial”
During his yearly “Rap Up” song, recapping the events of the year that was (and who knows what the f–k this guy does the other 11 months of the year), Skillz made sure to congratulate the first-time champion Heat. “LeBron got that ring / Mad shouts to D Wade,” rapped Skillz, “But I ain’t need to see / That Chris Bosh facial, on national TV.” The always-helpful RapGenius explains the reference thusly: “After winning the NBA championship, Chris Bosh had the most pause-worthy celebrations in the locker room.” Sigh.
Feb. 17, 2013: Lil Wayne, “I f—-d Chris Bosh wife”
Perhaps the worst part for Bosh of all of this was that Lil Wayne saved this detail for the very end of his extended rant against the Miami Heat and the NBA over All-Star Weekend, after the Heat had supposedly gotten Weezy banned from all NBA-related activities. It was like having sex with Bosh’s wife was such an afterthought to Wayne that it didn’t occur to him until then, like “Oh yeah, that’s a thing that I did that would be potentially relevant to this beef!” (For what it’s worth, reports would later clarify that Wayne likely slept with Adrienne Bosh before the two were married — and that maybe she stole a bunch of money from him by pretending to be sick with cancer? — but the soundbite had been delivered, and the damage done.)
Feb. 22, 2013: Slim Thug, “so many #pause poses”
Just because it had been too long since a rapper expressed skepticism about Bosh’s sexuality, legendary Houston MC Slim Thug initially expressed a sort of sympathy for Bosh’s Weezy-besieged plight:
I bet Bosh ready to go back to Toronto n—-s won’t give him a break They say he gay Wayne say he f—-d his wife he gone bad one day
But then turned it into another LOL BOSH GAY joke on Instagram:
Poor, poor Bosh. There might not be enough championships, All-Star appearances and statistical benchmarks in the league to buy this guy a little respect.