Sunday July 13th, 2014

Having recently agreed to stay with the Miami Heat, Chris Bosh said he is "excited for the challenge" of playing without LeBron James in an interview with the Associated Press on Sunday.

"I can't lie to you: I'm excited. I'm excited for the challenge," Bosh said. "I want to step up to the challenge. I feel this is a chance to prove to myself and others that I can still do this.

"I want to see if I can do what's necessary to go in there and win every night. That's the challenge of being a leader. It excites me. It's been a long time and I feel like I'm a much better player and a leader now, so it'll be fun."

Bosh had an offer on the table from the Rockets but opted to stay in Miami, where he will now be the team's go-to player.

"We've built a life in South Florida and we're comfortable," Bosh said. "So I had to do what's best now for myself and my family.

"I'd be lying if I sat here and said Houston wasn't enticing. You look at their roster and you can kind of see why it makes sense for them to be interested in me, with the chance they have to be successful. They're going to be a good team regardless next year. It just seemed like I would be that final piece that they needed. It was a hard choice to turn down."

Reports: Heat agree to sign Luol Deng to 2-year contract

Bosh scored 17.1 points per game in 278 games playing alongside James and 23.2 points in nine games without him since they became teammates in the 2010-11 season, according to ESPN.

- Chris Mascaro

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