DimeMag

Chris Bosh Can’t Find Respect

Somewhere along the way, Chris Bosh became Horace Grant. The whipping boy.

If anyone else, most certainly Dirk or Wade or ‘Bron, were left with an eye that looked halfway between closed and leaking blood, and then hit a game-winning shot, we would all be 100% indulged in some form of gushing, worshipping rhetoric. Bosh does it, and it was overlooked almost immediately, us all so obsessed with “the Jordan thing” that the totality of Game 3 became about LeBron backing off and saying, “D-Wade this is you.”

Instead, not only did we hardly spew a word about Bosh’s shot, but we made fun of him for the way he collapsed after Dirk hit him. Watching the game with my pops, even he was like “Basketball players are such pussies” when Bosh hit the floor. Was it overly dramatic? Maybe. Normally, the whole “I-nearly-got-hit-in-the-eye-and-I’m-gonna-fake-like-someone-poked-me” routine is played out in every NBA game at least three or four times. But at least in this instance, there was some evidence that Bosh really got hit.

He’s the Ray Liotta of the NBA. It’s not his fault Joe Pesci is so wildly loveable and psychotic or that Robert De Niro could make a movie a classic with just one perfect scene, let alone bringing his A-game for the whole script. Bosh got lumped in with maybe the two best players in the world, and now people act like it’s a bad thing he can’t hang. Did we ever think Bosh was on that level? If you did, then it’s obvious you never saw Goodfellas (and Ray was actually really good in that).

Watching Bosh play next to James and Wade is weird. This morning, I put my iTunes on shuffle and some Kay Slay freestyle with Big L was immediately followed by “Burning Homestead” from Star Wars Episode IV. Maybe that says more about my own musical versatility/identity crisis, but that’s generally how I feel when moving from James and Wade to Bosh. They are different players, incomparable. Bosh seems perfectly suited to be a supporting actor, and he’s actually done a pretty good job of it.

Bosh hit some monster shots in the epic Game 4 win against Boston. Then, he averaged 23 points on 60% shooting against the Bulls (after Carlos Boozer basically spoke out against Bosh by not speaking on him at all). Then last night, he made a couple of huge jump shots late in the biggest game of his life. “He actually seems to rise to the moment,” I remember saying something along those lines to the pops.

Then there’s this obsession with going at practically everything he does, from the way he screams after big buckets to his use of his tongue to call for lobs. I can’t recall much good stuff being spoken about him at all. In this instance, I would gladly listen to/read about how Bosh “gives it his all” and really plays the game “the right way.” Something, anything positive.

If anything, blame all of us for the Big Three thing and blame Miami’s celebratory summer introductions that left us all with the idea that these three are equal. They’re not.

But can we at least show Bosh some love once in a while instead of constantly either degrading his value or straight mocking him? The dude just hit a game-winner on the road in the NBA Finals. Respect.

What do you think of Bosh’s postseason play?

Follow Sean on Twitter at @SEANesweeney.

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