Once LeBron James announced his return to Cleveland, everyone in the league started scrambling to fill their free agency needs. Houston immediately traded Jeremy Lin to the Los Angeles Lakers as a final move to clear cap space to sign Bosh, who many expected to make the move to Houston after LeBron’s departure. Instead, the Heat stepped up to the table with a max-level contract offer, and were able to retain him.
Bosh told Jonathan Zaslow and Joy Taylor on “The Ticket Morning Show” in Miami — by way of Surya Fernandez of FOX Sports — he was very close to leaving Miami:
“It was kind of nuts,” Bosh said Thursday in an interview with Jonathan Zaslow and Joy Taylor on the “The Ticket Morning Show” in Miami, his first public comments since signing his five-year maximum contract Wednesday. “I remember being in Africa — I was in Ghana — and we were just watching on the Internet and Twitter and all of these things going on and it was like, ‘Man, I think we made the right decision by getting out of the country for a couple of weeks until this settles.’ ”
“It was close, I’m not going to lie,” Bosh admitted. “It was close. It was just a weird situation only because we were waiting so long and I didn’t know what was going on.
“They stepped right up to the plate and that made my decision easy,” he told The Ticket. “As soon as LeBron made up his mind, they came to me with the offer. It wasn’t much to think about it. They showed confidence in me right off the bat and that makes me feel really special. It makes me feel wanted. It makes me feel extremely motivated to rise up to the challenge. I’m happy that they have faith in me.”
Bosh will be the number one option in Miami next season. He averaged 16.2 points per game last season, the lowest since his second season in the league, despite shooting 51.6 percent from the field. His 22.6 percent usage rate helps explain the discrepancy.
In the 2009-10 season, his final with the Toronto Raptors where he was the clear-cut number one option, Bosh averaged 23.9 points and 10.8 rebounds on 51.8 percent shooting. His usage rate that season was 28.7 percent.
It would not be a stretch to expect those same numbers from Bosh next year, considering he has also expanded his range since leaving Toronto. In his last season with the Raptors, he made just eight 3-pointers, attempting 22 for the season. This is in stark contrast to last year when he shot 218 threes and made 74 of them during the regular season.
It’s interesting too, because heading into free agency in 2010, Bosh was adamant about being the man. In an interview from June 2010 with Art Garcia of NBA.com, he said the following:
“I don’t want to be mentioned as an addition to a team,” Bosh said prior to the season. “I want to be mentioned as the guy that people want to center their team around.”
“I’m not an addition. I’m a centerpiece,” he said. “I have to have that confidence in myself, and I want people to know that, because I’m not somebody that helps out. I’m the guy you get like, ‘Yo, we’re going to win a championship, you’re gonna take us there.’
After four years of playing a supporting role next to LeBron in Miami, Bosh will get his chance to be the man again next season.
What do you think?
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