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Here Comes the Bosh

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Chris Bosh has flourished on and off the court since joining Miami as one of “The Heatles.” HHH looks at how fitting that nickname is when analyzing why Bosh will retire as a member of the Heat.

Mike Ehrmann

Sometimes, but not often, good things can come from a very bad start.

It's become that way for the nickname "The Heatles," the name created by the Miami Heat during the 2010-11 season, the very first in the "Big Three" era. First introduced by LeBron James, he explained that the name was adopted by the team to symbolize their ability to sell out arenas across the country and generate a media frenzy that was - and is still - seemingly unwavering.

It was largely derided at that time, taken out of context to further prove Miami's unfair characterization as a team of egomaniacs.

The public's anger has died down some, toward James in particular and the Heat in general. Nothing appeases the masses like success, and Miami has certainly achieved that. Along the way they've also disproved that portrayal of selfishness, a nice bonus to go with the postseason awards.

Miami is on a championship quest, it's third in four years, but questions loom large this summer with the possible free agency of James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh. Another trophy might be enough for all three to re-sign with the Heat for a "reunion tour." Conversely, failing to win it all could very well break up the band.

James' departure has often seemed the most likely, having already left the Cleveland Cavaliers to continue shaping his individual legacy. But the arduous process of gaining the public's trust (and subsequent endorsement dollars) has come full-circle since 2010, and LeBron is back on top of the NBA's marketing hierarchy. An additional move could wipe the slate clean again.

Wade has been with the Heat his whole professional career. As his health erodes so do his options, and retiring with Miami is practically guaranteed.

But, as explored by the Bleacher Report's Adam Fronal, Chris Bosh is the likeliest candidate to leave Miami for other hardwood opportunities.

In honor of the moniker inspired by the boys from Liverpool, Bosh may have a "Ticket to Ride" but he don't care.

Fronal's points, though clearly laid out and supported by statistical evidence, present a limited view of Bosh as a player and potential free agent. It's often that way with numerical data; they tell a story but it's usually a superficial one.

But after looking at how Bosh is unique - as a man and as a player - and how inspired the comparison to The Beatles was, his parting ways with Miami is improbable.

George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr. Each an amazing individual but forever linked together as parts of music history.

And so it is with the Heat.

LeBron James, the basketball genius, is a natural match to John Lennon. Both gifted and creative, they've transformed their respective fields forever, much to the joy of millions across the world.

Dwyane Wade is a very good fit for McCartney, perhaps not as blindingly brilliant as James/Lennon, but a great force nonetheless. They both serve as the face of their respective groups, mostly avoiding controversy while retaining a media-friendly, savvy persona that has helped deflect an intensely-competitive (and some would say, ruthless) nature.

Mario Chalmers becomes the de facto Ringo Starr. Sometimes ugly but usually dependable, their ability to do the simple things well and at the right time makes them a crucial part of their respective teams. Both "Rio" and Ringo are overlooked as parts of superstar collaborations, but their steadying influences have led to great success.

And Chris Bosh, the 9-time All-Star that is somehow forgotten by the media, is most like George Harrison, the one remembered as the "quiet Beatle" even as he enjoyed great individual and team success as singer/songwriter.

Harrison has been trapped by the long shadows of Lennon and McCartney but is responsible for great hits as a Beatle ("Taxman", "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Something", "Here Comes the Sun") and in a solo career ("My Sweet Lord", "Got My Mind Set on You"). Similarly, Bosh has shone brightly as the focal point of the Toronto Raptors' offense from 2003-2010. With the Heat, his role has changed while still remaining an intrinsic part of two championships.

Largely known for his stellar guitarwork, Harrison could actually play 26 instruments. Bosh is seen as a finesse player but has been successful (mostly in Toronto) for his work in the low block and for finishing strong in the paint. His range has allowed Miami to experiment with varying lineups and to compensate as injuries have taken their toll.

Ever on a spiritual quest, George Harrison once went on a highly-publicized journey to India to study music with the great Ravi Shankar. He came back and, quite simply, is credited with revolutionizing rock and roll by introducing the sitar into mainstream music:

Bosh's versatility has been just as resourceful, allowing the Heat to employ its successful "position-less basketball." This was born of necessity rather than spirituality but it was still responsible for re-introducing a style of small-ball that negated the use of a traditional center in the pivot.

Bosh and Harrison - unique, innovative, intelligent and somewhat misunderstood.

Chris has always stood out, more for his interests off the court than for his abilities on it. As he explained to Bleacher's Ethan Skolnik, Bosh once tried to fit a meeting of a local engineering club before basketball practice only to be embarrassed afterward by his coach. Earlier this season, he once again went against type by publishing a piece in Wired magazine about the benefits of learning basic principles of coding.

So when Fronal justifies his position by saying Miami Heat fans have not embraced Bosh as much as they have James and Wade, he speaks with a limited understanding of the relationship between Chris and his adopted hometown.

Heat fans truly adore Bosh while he has embraced Miami, its fans, and its culture like a native son. Like when he speaks Spanish and orders un cafecito (Cuban coffee) fluently in one of its landmark restaurants.

And, as he explained to SunSports Jason Jackson, by being truly fulfilled since he's joined the Heat:

More things have happened in my life since I got to Miami than in the first 26 years of my life.

In four years, Bosh has been transformed. He married in 2011 and he and his wife Adrienne have established themselves through numerous philanthropic efforts. They have welcomed two children (a boy, Jackson, in 2012, and their daughter, Dylan, just last November). He has reached the pinnacle of success as a basketball player but that is still only one part of what defines him.

Fronal adds that Wade, despite his declining knees, will continue to be the second scoring option (assuming James remains with Miami) and that Bosh will tire of this place as the "third banana". But Chris has always adapted to this role, either with or without Wade's lingering health issues, and there is no reason to doubt that will change.

As for Fronal's contention that Bosh would like to return to being a new team's first option, the obvious question is, "Why?" He has grown beyond that desire, evolving as a player as much as he has as a person. The opportunity to score 20+ points a game hardly seems like a season-long goal for Bosh at this point. As his recent offensive output will attest, he can be a top scorer whenever he wants. The shots will be there, even as he continues to expand the range from where he launches them.

Harrison will always be remembered as a Beatle, even with decades of solo work in his vast discography. So, too, will Bosh remain a part of the Heat, while his best individual performances are a thing of the past, or "Yesterday" in keeping with the musical theme.

When it comes to Bosh staying with Miami, stats won't prove your argument. As he grows as part of the Heat's extended family, "All You Need is Love."