chris-bosh-2

Chris Bosh’s name has been unfavorably swirling once again as he’s been loosely linked to a trade involving Denver’s Nene. While the supposed exchange is deadlocked by the lockout it highlights a common trend surrounding Chris. He’s withstood the dubious honor of being running joke of the Miami Heat throughout last season. Additionally, the power forward’s cognizant of the lashing in lieu of his growth as he talked to HuffPo on the subject.

All of a sudden in the Finals, you stepped up. Just how challenging was it adjusting to your new role with this team?

It’s been difficult because it’s a different role and I had to really learn it out there on the court. But I think the more positions I was in, the better I became. It’s just all about figuring things out, and maximizing potential no matter what the situation is.

How much does individual criticism and criticism of the Heat get to you?

It doesn’t get to me much. At first it used to get to me a lot, just because why it was like that. But now I really don’t care. People are going to talk crap no matter what happens, so I just do my job.

He didn’t help his cause what with his poor season start, lack of assertiveness, inability to completely gel into Miami’s offense and highly publicized displays of softness. However, by the time the playoffs rolled around, the power forward became more comfortable in his role and actually played consistently from the Eastern Conference Finals onward. You really can’t say the same for his more talented teammates in James and Dwyane: especially NorBel since he pulled a disappearing act as the Finals wore on.

I’ve rode the wave of harsh criticism on Bosh ever since he set foot in Miami. His low level of heart has been an issue with me for some time and the sentiment magnified when I finally got to see him play regularly. Nevertheless, I learned to let go when I noticed his steady improvement in the post season. At the same time I can’t help but feel like he’s still a target.

Much of the derision Chris receives as a player comes from his play style in relation to his position. Bosh’s a tall, lanky power forward prime for grabbing boards, blocking shots and being a nuisance in the post. He, instead, mostly lingers around the perimeter for jumpers and sets pick n’ rolls for Wade and James. The Texas native’s not known to get his hands dirty and his heart is always questioned. Thus, those character flaws along with his tendency to stay away from the paint annoys fans who don’t think too fondly of him.

Moreover, regular NBA viewers already know the big man talent pool’s notoriously shallow. Few 4′s and 5′s can legitimately defend the post, block or rebound regularly and Bosh is talented enough to exploit this trend. Yet he’s content with shooting J’s from the foul line extended. This approach, in my eyes, is frustrating to watch since low post play is quickly becoming a lost art in today’s league.

Perhaps people gang up on Bosh because he has all the call signs to be the prototypical PF they envision. Nonetheless, like the smart yet lazy kid we’ve all seen in school, he does his own thing to mixed results. Plus, he’s the Miami Heat’s third wheel in a trio of stars drawing metric tons of hate since they assembled last summer. The team developed in a callous fashion so he, along with everyone else involved, should have known what to expect once they joined forces.

On a less serious note, he’s an easy target because he gives folks so much ammo from his antics to his mere presentation. The boy’s been likened to everything from one of those blue people from Avatar to, well…a raptor. Bosh is simply a comedic gold mine for forum dwellers and internet addicts alike. They’ve come up with some pretty humorous stuff as you can see.

But let’s get back on track. Once Chris found his groove he consistently dropped around 20 a game halfway through Miami’s playoff run. I’m not one to place a huge emphasis on stats since they don’t tell everything about an athlete. Nevertheless, he’s notched solid numbers, albeit with light rebounding figures, and played consistently when the stakes raised. Carlos Boozer looked like a $14 million mistake when he faced Chris in the ECF’s and Boshasaurus still has some upside. He just needs to maintain confidence and play ball. One could easily see he tried too hard or half-heartedly attempted to find his proper place in Miami’s system. I wouldn’t say it’s worth imploding what they have so far now since, going by his play in the Finals, he’s really not part of the problem.

Bosh is far from the “terrible” or “mediocre” titles he’s accrued all year. Critics ought to save those labels for the Jason Collinses and Darius Songalias of the world. Additionally, he is soft and needs to address that hole in his game. Nonetheless, He could become a pertinent threat soon enough but people will clown him off the strength of his history, appearance and how he carries himself. His work is definitely cut out for him on both ends of the floor. Now we have to see if he’ll live up to his expectations or cower away whenever play resumes.