Chris Bosh says loyalty is for suckers

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Thumbnail image for bosh-heat.jpgChris Bosh clearly went to school on Kevin Garnett.

 

KG stayed loyal for years to Minnesota while the quality of players around him disintegrated. Until the losing got to be too much. Eventually he forced his way out, landed in Boston with other superstars, won a title and now goes on the record saying he should have done it all earlier.

 

Bosh didn’t wait. (Neither did LeBron, although there were other factors in play there.) Sports Illustrated asked him what role loyalty should have in free agency and the answer was cold.

 

It should have none. Loyalty is an added bonus. It’s great that some guys want to be loyal, but you can be unhappy trying to be loyal, and there’s no reason to bring loyalty into the business room. … People have to look at it as a business. Fans get very wrapped around it because it’s a sport. And sports are a little different but they’re businesses first and that’s how we have to choose sometimes. Sometimes people understand, sometimes people don’t.

 

What fans expect is their loyalty to be respected, and returned in some degree. That means sticking through some tough times, like the fans did in Toronto with Bosh — only to be told their loyalty doesn’t really matter. That’s not how Bosh meant it, but it is how it can be perceived.

 

The NBA is a business, and players have to treat it as such. The NBA business machine will spit out players that are not performing and cast them to the side regardless of situation. There is noloyalty there. Fans have to realize that, too; they have to understand the harsh realities of the business from the player’s perspective.

 

But to say loyalty has no place suggests that maybe the fans loyalty should be the same way. And then what would be the fun of sports fandom? Or sports period.