Miami men’s basketball is undergoing an unprecedented surge this season. Despite possible looming sanctions over the program for the role of its former coaching staff under Frank Haith as part of the larger NCAA investigation into the school, the Hurricanes are No. 2 in the country and a big enough draw that LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have shown up courtside this season in Coral Gables. But it’s the other member of the Heat’s Big Three that apparently is the reason this Miami team is playing like it is.
Bosh was playing pick-up ball in the 2011 summer when his frustration with some of the Hurricanes’ effort boiled over. They weren’t trying. Bosh, apparently just a few weeks removed from losing in the Finals to Dallas, couldn’t stomach the disparity between how hard his team had played versus the Hurricanes’ preparation. Basically, coach Jim Larranaga said to the Palm Peach Post, Bosh went into the Hurricanes’ locker room and ripped the players’ effort to their faces.
“There was a day, not this summer but the summer before, Chris Bosh was playing pick-up ball with our guys. Afterward, I asked him what it was like. He said, ‘Can I be honest?’ I said, ‘Please.’ He said, ‘Your guys don’t run the floor [and] they don’t work very hard. I barely break a sweat against them. I end up playing on the perimeter taking jump shots because there’s no real physicality, no real speed to the game.’
“I asked him if he would mind sharing that with the team. This was right after [the Heat] had lost in the world championship to Dallas. One day with the whole team in the weight room lifting, I asked him to say a few words. He started out with an emotional message. It was the best five-minute talk I’ve ever heard. He talked about how disappointed he was that he didn’t play better in Game 6 and how disappointed he was that they didn’t win the world championship and he didn’t want to live with that kind of regret and that he was killing himself during that offseason so that the Miami Heat could win the world championship.
“He said, ‘You guys don’t work hard enough. You don’t deserve the success you’d like to have. You can’t compete at the highest level of college basketball with the effort that you’re giving.’ It was just music to my ears because that was the message we were trying to deliver. Coming from Chris Bosh, it meant a whole lot to the team.”
Bosh is an easy target precisely because of how hard he tries. In Sunday’s All-Star game it was clear he was trying pretty hard and getting embarrassed anyway by the West, which he then tried to rectify by trying harder, which just looked out of place because it’s an All-Star game after all. Bosh tries really hard to include himself in the conversation among the NBA’s best players, too, though he’s a favorite for criticism that he doesn’t belong in the conversation with Wade and James. He also tries pretty hard to photobomb everything he can, with the latest being Chris Paul‘s MVP acceptance (Google the photo). So, he tries very hard and it’s obvious as not the most fluid player in the NBA. But he knows the difference between being effortless on the court, such as LeBron, and being flippant and let the Hurricanes get an earful because of it. There’s nothing to knock Bosh for in that.
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