There were a lot of factors that went into Chris Bosh choosing to stay in Miami rather than joining James Harden and Dwight Howard in Houston. At the top of the list is money — Miami could offer one more guaranteed year and nearly $30 million more guaranteed dollars than Houston. That’s a lot of scratch. Plus, after living four years in Miami and loving the lifestyle of the city, he wasn’t eager to leave that behind, even to return to his home state of Texas.
But there was also pressure.
In Miami Bosh has the pressure of being the first offensive option on what will be a pretty good but not contending team. But there’s a different pressure that comes with forming a big three to contend for titles, which is what there would have been in Houston, and Bosh had been down that road before. And he wasn’t that eager to return to it, he told Ken Berger of CBSSports.com.
“I could see where people would think that’s an attractive site,” Bosh told CBSSports.com, speaking of Houston, where half the NBA expected him to land back in July. “They were trying to win right away. And I was really happy to be touted that I possibly could’ve been out there. But you know, that doesn’t guarantee anything, and I know that. All that guarantees is a bunch of pressure.”
Some of you will shortsightedly slam Bosh in the comments but know this:
Bosh did the same thing LeBron James did — he made the best decision for himself.
Bosh enjoyed the winning with LeBron but there were things he didn’t enjoy — nobody sacrificed more of their game, nobody altered their game more to fit with LeBron. Bosh moved out of the post and on to the perimeter, he learned to shoot the three and become almost a stretch five to open driving lanes for LeBron and give him a dangerous weapon on kickouts. He gave up a lot of touches. For casual fans Bosh was seen as a third wheel, not the key to the Miami defense (he’s one of the best pick-and-roll defending bigs in the game) and a key to making their offense work.
If he went to Houston, it would have been much of the same. Howard is in the post, forcing Bosh to be a stretch four. Harden is the guy with the ball in his hands. Bosh is back to being option No. 3 on a team that would have been anointed as the most legit threat to the Spurs in the West. It wouldn’t have had all the crazy hype Miami had because, well, LeBron, but there would have been a lot of it.
Bosh got what he wanted — $30 million more, to stay in a city he loves, and he’s the focal point of the offense now (although he’s still getting a lot of touches out on the perimeter). Not wanting the pressure may have been part of his decision making process, but it wasn’t at the heart of it.
And I’d like to meet the person who knocks his decision and would walk away from $30 million personally.