Chris Bosh Looks Back On His Legendary NBA Career | The Players’ Tribune

Chris Bosh Looks Back On His Legendary NBA Career | The Players’ Tribune


– For me, looking back on it is crazy, ’cause I wasn’t even an NBA prospect when I was 16 years old. Right? Usually guys are. Then, all of a sudden,
I’m an NBA prospect at 17. Within two years I go from playing high school
basketball to getting drafted. Back then, I’m super skinny and fast, and that was my thing.
You couldn’t catch me. I would run down the court, get dunks, get blocks, I could handle it, I could shoot it. ABCD Camp in Teaneck, New Jersey – it’s 300 guys and a bunch of teams, and they just play games all day every day, for four days straight. I’m ready, I’m focused. This is my only time
in an All-American camp and this is the first game. “All right, come on. Let’s go. All the college scouts are
here, so this is my moment.” I don’t know who this dude
was, but he was from Ohio. He wasn’t super big. He was still a good size for a 16-year-old. And so this dude came up to me and said, “I got him, I’m checking him!” I’m in my own mind I
said, “Man, ‘Check him’? Who was that guy?” You know, kept playin’. And he was good enough to say, “O.K., who is this dude right here? ‘Cause I know I’m nice. I know who that is, that is, that is, that is, that is, ’cause I gotta beat ’em and kill ’em all. Who’s this guy?” My coach told me, “That’s LeBron James.” Back then the Internet wasn’t like that – so you just get the name with no picture. And back then he rose to prominence after he had a successful game against Oak Hill as a sophomore. And, I mean, he did it all. He just had a complete
game at that point in time, and that’s kinda how it started. And then ever since then it’s like you haven’t stopped
hearing his name since. That’s what people don’t understand – I had the time of my life in Toronto. That was pretty much an upbringing for me to be the person I am today. When I got drafted …
you’re happy and everything. I’m the only player in the draft that has to deal with
going to another country. That’s something that I didn’t
even anticipate and expect. Oh man, I had to have my
passport with me every time. Or, “Man, they use Monopoly money here. And they do kilometers per hour.” You’ll go places and
people don’t even know Toronto has an NBA basketball team. Like, “The Raptors, oh … the Rafters? That’s what people always used to say. “The Rafters? Is that the NBA? Like, “Man….
Yes!” You know, and it’s a shell shock. And I was on a team where the next-youngest guy was 25 years old. Which is old, right?
When you’re a teenager? You have to get over the starstruckness, because you forget,
“O.K., I’m in the league, then Vince Carter is in practice with me.” He would get on me if I didn’t go up strong or do
anything. He’d be on me. He was making an effort to…. “Hey young fella, come on, do this.” I tell people this all the time, Vince, he contains some of the most talent I’ve ever seen a
basketball player possess, and I played with some great players. One of the tough things for me was to watch dudes I got drafted with – LeBron, Dwyane, Josh Howard – they’re competing for
championships right away. And he’s in the playoffs. And they’re winning games,
and it must feel good. It was hard man, really.
Looking from the outside, you feel like you’re not a part of things. My whole life was in Toronto. I think a lot of people get it wrong that there’s no pressure
and it’s a easy decision. It’s desensitized as far as
if you’re a public figure, people are not gonna
look at it the same way. Chicago was the first team
that approached me, at 12:01. Thirty minutes later, Daryl
Morey comes to my house. It’s midnight! And they’re goin’ for the jugular. Chicago: “That’s a pretty good team.” Houston: “That’s what
you’re gonna pay me? Hmm! And it’s gonna be built around
me? I’m gonna be the guy? For that?” “Yes.” I said, “I haven’t seen
that many numbers before. It’s a extra number on there.” Every meeting I left, I was confused. It’s July, my father’s in town…. He’s not even one of those type of dads. I think he just wanted to see it. Like, “Yo, let me just
see this at least once.” He’s starstruck by Pat Riley, I will say that right off the bat, ’cause he was a grown man in the ’80’s. So he’s like the first thing he says, “Man, that’s Pat Riley, man.” Pat never sat down the whole time. He just pulls out a bag, puts championship rings out there. Everybody’s quiet and
doesn’t even say anything. He takes off his suit jacket,
he rolls up his sleeves. “All right, let me tell you somethin’, this is what it’s about.” And he goes into his
shtick and it’s like…. It was no numbers on the boards, there was no PowerPoint presentation. He set the tone as far as
making it about championships, ’cause that’s what he’s about. Everybody knew that they
had enough cap space for three max contracts. It was me, Stoudemire, Boozer, Bron, D – it was quite a class. So it was more so who…. In my mind, if I go here and
join D, it’s gonna work out. Yeah, we were glued
just like anybody else, ’cause he still had to make “the decision” and go through with it. And then he did it and then it was like, “Aaaaah!” I mean, it was like
winning a championship. That night in Miami, it was crazy. So I played the All-Star Game, and then flew back and said, “Yo, I should not be feeling like this.” I couldn’t breathe after a while, and it got to the point where the whole left side of my
body, it just hurt to move. Got my chest X-rayed –
I got a collapsed lung. And they said, “All right, you need to
go to the Emergency Room.” I go get a CT scan and you
can see through the window the doctors looking at the screen. And then there’s another doctor, then there’s another
person, and then there’s like four, five people just
around the computer screen. I got up and opened the door and said, “What’s going on? What’s up?” “You see that right there?
You’ve got a blood clot. We’re putting you in.” And then he starts
saying all these things, and I’m like, “All right.”
Give me the blood thinner, put the oxygen thing in my nose…. And that’s when I was like,
“Yo, what are you doing?” Like, “No, you need this. The
next 24 hours are crucial.” And then at the same time
I’m looking at the TV and we just traded for Goran Drajic. We’re trying to turn our season around. So I’m just watching all this stuff like, “What the hell is goin’ on?” I’m in the hospital in
pain for four, five days. I think I’m goin’ home,
and I got my lung drained. If you ever got your lung
drained – that sucks. You don’t get painkillers for that. They just stick the needle in
there. You know what I mean? And so it got to the
point where I’m like…. I had to threaten the doctor. We’re good friends to
this day, he’s super cool. But I told him, I said, “Man, I’mma throw you out that window if you stick me with that
needle again, my man.” And he said, “All right, cool.” They come back that evening saying, “Well, we have to do surgery on you because your lung has produced this gelatinous, scabby fluid
that we cannot drain out. So we have to go in there and
pretty much scrub you clean.” My heart goes out to people who have to spend days and weeks
and months in hospitals. The energy is bad and you’re
in a dark mental place. And it wasn’t until I left,
almost two weeks later, that I realized that I hadn’t been out the room the whole entire time. You realize how easy it
could’ve went the other way. People die from that every day. For whatever reason, I made
it. I don’t ask any questions. That makes me appreciate life, and realize how fragile it really is. If you’re doing something you
love, you’re lucky enough? Do it to the fullest.
Don’t waste your time by worrying about petty stuff. You never know when it’s gonna be your last time stepping on the court. I can tell you that that is a real thing. So no matter what happens, I still have a positive outlook on life. I still feel great, I still feel myself. I’m still in my skin.
That didn’t break me.

38 thoughts on “Chris Bosh Looks Back On His Legendary NBA Career | The Players’ Tribune

  1. You put Chris Bosh in the title and I'll watch, he's one of the few star athletes who will be vulnerable and fun to listen to

  2. Chris Bosh seems like a regular guy out here in the rat race thats cool.
    Athletes and celebrities seems to think that we need to see them 24/7 hawking some useless product.

  3. Legendary ????? Let's not misuse the word he was decent and at times fairly good. Legendary is Wilt, the Iceman , Bernard King , Kobe for example .

  4. I'm only 22 but I been a heat fan since I was 7 and the day we got Chris Bosh I was so fucking excited!! Thank you for the championships but more importantly thank you for your contributions to basketball! Helped change the big man into legit skill players. I appreciate you, thanks for the good memories 👍🏾

  5. His story is one of the best of all time. How much he's overcome not just with medical issues but having to adjust to living in another country at such a young age is inspiring.

  6. Bosh for real, youre one of the most likable players the NBA has ever graced. you just seem like the most positive, awesome guy. even though the game was taken away, life has still more to offer and it looks like you already have the right perspective. wish you the best.

  7. Chris Bosh is one of the most well spoken and intelligent athletes we have today. It’s an absolute shame his career ended early due to his blood clots. Thank goodness his health is better and we can listen to his insight.

  8. Mannn, Chris Bosh will always be my favorite player! I’ve been a Heat fan all my life, hope for the best going forward

  9. OK….Bosh was a phenom out of college and his career was nice. But "legendary?" Not every good player, is "Legendary." WIll Perdue won 4 championships, was he legendary? Lets save that moniker for the likes of legends

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