Chris Bosh has the reputation of being one of the smartest, most thoughtful players in the NBA.
On Thursday Bosh sat down with Bleacher Report’s Ethan Skolnick in Brazil, where the Heat (LeBron’s old super-team) will play the Cavs (LeBron’s new one) in an exhibition game on Saturday.
It’s a great interview. Bosh talks about the hard parts of being the third option on a LeBron James-led team of stars. No one sacrificed more than Bosh when the Heat formed the Big 3. He went from taking 16 shots per game in his final year in Toronto to 12 shots per game in his final year with the heat.
In the interview, he explains what it’s really like to have to sacrifice for the good of the team when you’re playing with LeBron.
The main takeaway is that proven NBA players who join super-teams don’t realise how difficult it is to voluntary take on a lesser role — both from a basketball perspective and a psychological perspective. And it never gets easier.
Here’s what he said about what it means to to want to win (he doesn’t mention Kevin Love by name, but that’s the context here):
“Everybody says they want to win. But when you start talking about sacrifice and doing what’s right for the team, it’s like, ‘Wait a minute, I didn’t mean that. I want to win, but…’ There’s always a conjunction with that. It’s never what you think it is. And it’s always like your weakest point where you got to do it.”
He made an excellent food-centric analogy to describe what it’s like to get fewer shots and touches because LeBron is the focal point of the team:
“You just get your entree and that’s it. It’s like, wait a minute, I need my appetizer and my dessert and my drink, what are you doing? And my bread basket. What is going on? I’m hungry! It’s a lot different. But if you can get through it, good things can happen. But it never gets easy. Even up until my last year of doing it, it never gets easier.”
When asked what advice he’d give Kevin Love — who’s going to have to do the same thing Bosh did when he played next to LeBron — Bosh said could only say that the process would be “extremely difficult and extremely frustrating.”
It’s an honest, insightful description of what it’s like for a great player to have to change how he plays in the prime of his career.
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