While LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have been lauded as the two kings of South Beach since announcing their intention to play together on the Miami Heat back in 2010, Chris Bosh has been the butt of an easy joke as the team's third banana. And he's not happy about it.
"People created this stigma about [me] and they just ran with it," Bosh told Sports Illustrated's Chris Mannix. "And once it was out there, everyone ran with it. It was just talk. There was no evidence to back it up. The name-calling and stuff, it got a little too out of hand. If you want to say my game isn't where it's supposed to be, fine. But the name calling, that's not journalism. Too many people, especially when they don't know me, were just saying a whole lot of stuff that wasn't true."
Bosh heard an earful of criticism last year, from the Basketball Jones parody "Like a Bosh" that went viral last year to the pejorative "Bosh Spice" nickname leveled at him by ESPN's Skip Bayless. A number of pundits singled Bosh out when Heat coach Erik Spoelstra admitted his players had cried in the locker room after a tough loss.
Bosh had one of his worst statistical seasons last year, averaging only 18.7 points and 8.3 rebounds per game, but he was an integral piece of the Heat team that came within two wins of a championship back in June. This year, he's helped the Heat get off to a blazing 8-2 start. "The tough times are going to happen," Bosh told Mannix. "There is going to be a time it doesn't look good. We're going to overcome it with our mental toughness."