Bosh has now reached the pinnacle of success in basketball — a two-time champion, his jersey up in the rafters and now, a Hall of Fame inductee. I’ve already spilled plenty of ink praising Bosh’s many contributions and responding to the unfair criticism he received. But aside from his basketball skills, Bosh is also a great storyteller. He showed that again with his Hall of Fame speech.
The 11-time All-Star started his speech recounting Pat Riley’s pitch to him during the 2010 free agency period. (Riley was seated behind Bosh, along with Ray Allen.) Riley gave Bosh one of his championship rings at the end of that meeting and told him to return it “when we win one together.” Bosh gave Riley that ring back last night, on the stage.
The rest of Bosh’s speech centered on a message he learned from Kobe Bryant during the 2008 Olympics, shortly after his Los Angeles Lakers lost in the Finals to the Boston Celtics. “Legends aren’t defined by their successes. They’re defined by how they bounce back from their failures.”
Bosh then brought up his own loss in the 2011 Finals to the Dallas Mavericks, and how cameras caught him breaking down in his walk to the locker room. In a nice quip, Bosh called the YouTube video titled, “Chris Bosh cries like a little girl” offensive to little girls and said his daughters have never cried like that.
The Texas native then talked about how he and the rest of the Heat bounced back from that loss — two consecutive championships and a 27-game win streak. But twice getting blood clots forced Bosh to end his career at just 31 years of age. He punctuated his speech with a powerful message about turning setbacks into strengths.