A year ago around this time, Carlos Boozer commented that the Miami Heat have two great players in LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, and the implication-as was Boozer's intent-that Christopher Wesson Bosh did not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the likes of James and Wade. Saint Kevin Durant called Bosh a "fake tough guy." Dr. Shaquille O'Neal referred to him as the "RuPaul of NBA big men." Talking head Skip Bayliss coined the nickname "Bosh Spice." When Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra intimated that guys were "crying in that locker room" after a tough loss, everyone and their mother assumed that Chris Bosh was among the unnamed criers.
I myself have been as tough on Bosh as any other writer here at PIM, but his recent injury has taught me-in a new way-the wisdom of these words: "You never miss a good thing ‘til it's gone." I just want to go on the record on behalf of any and all Heat fans who have undervalued or badmouthed the guy and say, "Chris, I apologize. I hate it took you getting injured for me to realize this, but 18 points, 8 rebounds per game, and a strong interior defensive presence are hard to come by in this league. I am very sorry for taking you for granted."
I have spent so much of the last two years complaining about what Mr. Bosh wasn't doing, that I could not truly appreciate what he was doing. When you look at Chris Bosh in the context of a Miami Heat team that has very little depth in general, virtually none at the frontcourt positions, and no true center, he is the last person this team could afford to lose for a significant period of time. To boot, this is one of the worst injuries he could have outside of breaking a bone, tearing a knee ligament, or tearing a hamstring. The only thing that can heal it is time. If he comes back out of desperation and re-aggravates it, he will surely be done for the remainder of these playoffs. If he is not able to come back within the next couple of games, however, these playoffs may be over for the Miami Heat much sooner than expected.
As mentioned in the formal apology, 18 points and 8 rebounds per game is not production one can sneeze at unless you are the likes of Kevin Love, Blake Griffin, Dwight Howard, or Andrew Bynum. Upon further review, when I consider the fact that Bosh moved from being the number one option since early in his tenure as a Toronto Raptor to being the third-and sometimes lower-option on this Miami Heat team, it is rather remarkable that the has been as productive as he has been. I've heard and read tons of praise for D-Wade taking less money than LeBron James or Chris Bosh to facilitate them bringing their talents to South Beach, but I contend that Bosh has sacrificed more than anyone else on this team. To further add injury to insult, he is often discounted in the media and among Heat fans for not being the same guy he was in Toronto.
While I firmly believe he could be utilized much better and achieve closer to the production and personal success he enjoyed in Toronto, I don't think much of the blame for his shortcomings on this Heat team belongs on his shoulders. The purpose of this entry is not to place blame, so I won't venture into the abyss of finger-pointing. The purpose of this is, however, to let Chris Bosh know that he is appreciated. Mr. Bosh, get well. And again, I apologize.