Chris Bosh enters 11th NBA All-Star Game admitting he didn't expect to be this good


Chris Bosh made five NBA All-Star Games as a member of the Raptors, but he's back in Toronto this weekend for his sixth All-Star berth with the Heat. (Update: Bosh pulled out from playing in the game.)

Yes, Bosh has been named to 11 All-Star teams. He's a clear-cut Basketball Hall of Famer even if he was the third-best player on those Heat title teams in 2012 and 2013. He's got a gold medal, a couple rings and even a massive role in basketball's small-ball shift. He's trying the 3-point contest for the first time.

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Sporting News spoke with Bosh last week in Charlotte, and he offered a candid and honest assessment of his career. The full interview is below:

SPORTING NEWS: How have you felt this season, coming back after missing half a year and still being an All-Star?

CHRIS BOSH: It's my expectation. It feels good, but it was a goal of mine coming into this season to return to the same form I had been at, if not better, and do my best to help lead this team to some wins and a playoff push.

SN: The All-Star Game being in Toronto, what's that like for you?

CB: It's exciting, man. It was a huge goal of mine. I kind of set it last year before my whole ordeal. Especially in the summer, I kind of worked on it as just a little thing for myself to kind of go back as a different player under different circumstances and see the folks in Toronto after all those years.

SN: You said your goal was to be, maybe, better this year. How do you feel you've accomplished that?

CB: It's gone well so far. Of course, as a team, that was the most important thing, to do well. First and foremost, have a much better record and compete at a higher level and help Dwyane (Wade) contribute that as well as the leaders of this team. I've felt, so far, it's been a pretty good season, an All-Star season, but we still have a lot more to accomplish, and even after the weekend's passed, we still need to do well.

SN: One of the things that interests me about this team is that you guys have a crazy number of veterans — numerous guys working on Hall of Fame résumés. How does leadership work in that situation?

CB: Coming to this organization, even with Hall of Fame guys, only so many guys can actually get to the mountaintop (of a title), and we've been blessed to get there. And we kind of try to instill that in everybody, no matter who it is. It's a culture here. It's a certain way that we play. It's a certain way that we carry ourselves in this organization. That's more so what we try to preach to the other veterans and try to instill in everybody, what's expected of us and how we're going to come to play every night.

SN: So when you bring in guys like, for instance, Amar'e Stoudemire or Josh McRoberts, they're very experienced players. Do you need to work with them on learning the team chemistry, or is it natural?

CB: They come halfway there. There's a reason that they wanted to play here, and it's a reason that they chose to come here. They're totally open to everything because everybody wants to win, and I think that's what's most important for this team here. When we do get players, not only do we get players who want to come here, but we get players who want to win. That is the main, important thing for us. We always have expectations to do our job and do our job well. If we're not winning, we're coming up short.

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SN: One of the more interesting things in recent years is, you winning championships as a center became one of the most obvious examples of, "OK, this small-ball thing works." And now, you're back at power forward. Is there a comfort level still?

CB: No (laughs). It's been this weird thing in my career, and I think it's a testament in life: You don't ever want to get too comfortable because I think that's when you start settling. Yeah, I was starting to get comfortable at the center position, and the way things were going, teams actually started changing and you saw a shift. Then, we get Hassan (Whiteside), and with the emergence of him, it's like, "We need you to play power forward." So now I'm kind of in the position where I was before. 

With the center, it was wrestling and grappling with those big guys. And now I'm guarding smaller, quicker guys, and I'm constantly going to have to close out and contain the ball. And I have to look for timely post-ups because if I just sit there and try to get it, and they're going to dou

ble and use their speed and get up and into me, and that's playing into their hand. It's been a very interesting thing to watch. It's always been playing catchup. But I'm fine with it. Just trying to stay ahead of the curve.

SN: How much of your NBA career has gone the way you expected?

CB: None!

SN: You've had such a fascinating journey. Any part of it make sense?

CB: Nope, and that's the beauty of it. It's not supposed to make sense. I didn't expect to win a championship, let alone two. I didn't expect to be able to play with LeBron and Dwyane at one point. I didn't expect to have Hall of Fame teammates, you know? I didn't even expect to be as good a player as I've been.

SN: Really?

CB: Yeah, I mean, you say it, but then, when it happens, it's like, "That's cool." Yeah, I know I said it, but, when it happens, it's cool! I never expected to be an 11-time All-Star, let alone 11 times in a row. So it's just cool. It's cool to be a part of. It's been an awesome journey. I'm still writing my chapters, and hopefully I can keep it going and win another championship.

SN: The point from earlier about playing center, has it occurred to you that actually played an important role in that change, that that's part of your legacy, part of what people will remember about Chris Bosh — the small-ball center who won two championships?

CB: Yeah, I hope so, man. I've been a part of some cool things. It's on other people to see and sift through it for what it is. But yeah, I've been in some trends, had some cultural changes. That's all stuff you want to be a part of. I made a couple big plays in the Finals — an iconic play (tipping the ball out to Ray Allen on the pivotal shot in Game 6 in 2013). That's good enough for me, man.