Both on the court—in the form of consistent mid-range jumpers—and off of it—in the form of incredible videobombs—Chris Bosh has become a massive part of the Miami Heat’s identity. And though LeBron James remains the team’s guiding force, and the oft-injured Dwyane Wade remains its wild card, the 29-year-old big man will play a huge role in determining how well the Heat stack up against their competition this spring. We spoke to Bosh about the team’s position nearly a quarter of the way into the season, his Parks and Rec guest spot, Coach Spoelstra’s evolution and plenty more.
SLAM: How do you feel about how the Heat are doing at this point in the season?
Chris Bosh: We’re doing OK. We’ve reached the point where we have to start doing a lot better, and that’s how the season is—it’s gonna be filled with ups and downs, peaks and valleys and everything. You deal with it, you address those situations and you try to get over the hump.
SLAM: Shane Battier said teams generally have all of their individual roles set around New Year’s. Do you think you guys are approaching that point?
CB: Umm, yeah. We’re always approaching that point, but I think at this moment, right now, there are some things that we have to correct. That happens. We’re mature enough to address that and not beat around the bush, and be honest with each other about the reason we need to play better and why we need to play better. So I think with that said, the more we play, the more experience we get under our belts, we’re gonna figure that out.
SLAM: Does anything specific jump out to you when you say there are things you need to correct?
CB: No, nothing specific. It’s so many things you have to work on as a player on a good team, and we know what it takes to win a Championship. The broadness of it is like, OK, we pretty much have to work on everything even if we think we’re doing good in this area, we [still] need to improve. It’s always about improving. It’s a process—it just takes a while.
SLAM: Is there a difference in locker room chemistry this year compared with how it’s been the last few years?
CB: It’s the same deal every year. I think the formula is the same. You wanna get along with your teammates, hold each other accountable and hang out as much as you can off the court. I think that’s a very important building process for any team. That kinda makes things easier when it’s time to really address everything and hold each other accountable. If it’s your friend, you know how to talk to your friend, you know how to communicate effectively. That information that needs to get to the person is reciprocated and is heard.
SLAM: What about you, personally? Did you come into the season hoping to improve on anything specific?
CB: Well you know the funny thing with the season is you can come in working on something and thinking that’s what’s gonna happen, but it very seldomly happens like that. It never really happens in a way where it’s like, Yeah, everything that I worked on in the summer, I’m using it and it’s all happening. It’s funny how the game will give you something totally different that you weren’t expecting. So I was just trying to come in with an open mind frame, work on everything that I need to work on, but at the same time be ready for the challenges that come up, because you don’t wanna just be like, OK, I’m gonna work on my outside shooting, then I never get to take outside shots, you know what I mean? It’s kinda just working on my game as a whole and making sure I’m just ready for anything.
SLAM: There was a story about the Heat’s offense recently that included a shot chart stating that you’re the best shooter in the NBA from a solid portion of the mid-range area. Is that an aspect of your game that you always expected would one day become your bread and butter?
CB: Yeah, I mean over time it just naturally developed into something. When I was in Toronto, for me, I always wanted to get to the basket. [The jumper] was a tool for me to get guys mixed up because it was so open, so I continued to work on it. Now it’s evolved into something where I can help spread the floor with this team, knock down open shots and give our slashers opportunities to really be aggressive and make the defense think twice about leaving them.
SLAM: The East has been pretty horrible with the exception of Miami and Indiana—is there a sense for you guys that they’re the group the Heat are inevitable going to have to go through?
CB: Well yeah, I think when it’s all said and done, of course, we know we’re gonna have to face them and vice versa. But we know that the season is a process, and it’s a very long process, and you never know what could happen. So with that said of course we always wanna get off to good starts, we wanna play well throughout the season, but we know that there’s ups and downs. You deal with ‘em. It’s not always gonna be easy; it’s not always gonna be good. We kinda take that into consideration a lot if we’re not doing well at a certain particular time, or if [the Pacers] are doing better than us, we can’t worry about outside stuff. We just need to fix what we need to fix within our organization. If we’ve lost a couple games or we’re not playing up to our capability, we fix that and we move on. I’m sure they’re gonna have their challenges as the season goes on, and it’ll happen at different times.
SLAM: That sounds like the kind of attitude you can really only have after proving to yourselves that you’re a Championship team. You don’t need to bother yourselves with what others are up to.
CB: Yeah. I mean, you always are aware of what everybody else is doing. We’re aware of what [the Pacers] are doing. We understand how it is to play with that chip on your shoulder. We understand that, and that’s something that we don’t have, so we have to find our own way to be successful and try to win three in a row.
SLAM: You’ve had a front-row seat watching Coach Spoelstra evolve from a coach who admittedly didn’t really know what he was doing into one of the best coaches in the NBA. What’s that been like?
CB: It’s been interesting. It’s been a process. It’s been so funny because we’ve all grown and evolved, and just to see where we all our now is pretty cool. But he’s always thinking about getting better. He handles situations a lot better than he used to. It used to really bother him if something wasn’t going the right way—now he’s able to take a step back and think a little bit more and think objectively, and we’re able to communicate a lot better. He’s getting that part down pretty good. It just works for everybody, and we’re continuing to really, really get better. He’s come a long way, like we all have, and I think he’ll continue to evolve.
SLAM: Beyond just winning games, your team has become the best in the league at post-game interview videobombs. Do you freestyle all of those or are they ever planned out in advance?
CB: Nah, I never plan ‘em out. I just have fun with it. It’s gotten to the point where everybody’s like, ‘Videobomb something!’ And it’s like, Alright, it’s getting too much, man. I was with TNT, they were like, they set up a bridge for you so you could videobomb people on Inside Stuff! Like man, what? Come on. I don’t want it to be this mainstream cheesy thing that’s inorganic and doesn’t feel right. That’s the only reason I do it—just to have fun and make fun of our guys. I know the fans enjoy it, and if you earned the right to win that night, you can do what you want.
SLAM: You’re always tweeting about different television shows. What’s in the rotation right now?
CB: Nashville, me and my wife watch Nashville, and American Horror Story. Those are the two. Those are the only ones in season right now. I’m caught up on everything else.
SLAM: Your Parks and Rec cameo was pretty amazing.
CB: That was cool, just being able to see a big-time production and everything. Everybody was so nice, very accommodating, and made me feel special about being there. I’ve yet to see the episode.
CB: Yeah, I want to check it out, I just haven’t had the time. But it was great.
SLAM: I read you had a weird meeting with Aubrey Plaza.
CB: Yeah, I guess I was going for hair and make-up and I was a little nervous about going on camera and everything, like man, this is Parks and Rec. And then the lady’s like, “Oh, we can do this hair, or this hair,” and I was like, Nah, it’s fine. And I guess it ended up being her. I didn’t know until later on [laughs].
SLAM: Is it true Childish Gambino rented your house and recorded an album in it?
SLAM: How’d that happen?
CB: It kinda just happened. He was recording his album, and I guess he needed somewhere to work, and he was asking [for a place to record]. After the fact, this past summer, we actually sat down and had lunch. He’s a cool guy. Of course he’s been on TV, and he’s a writer, comedian, producer, all these other things, and now he’s rapping and stuff. I was like, Dang, you’re pretty much a modern day version of a hustler. He’s a talented dude, very cool guy.