On Wednesday night, Chris Bosh(notes) ended up with egg on his face when he followed up a breakout 35-point game against the Suns by saying he and the Heat "want to chill" instead of being really intense like coach Erik Spoelstra. He got his fair share of criticism for it, including on this blog, and altogether it was yet another bump in the road for Bosh as he tries to fit into the Heat uber-team. Even when he plays well, he makes himself look bad by saying something dumb.
Except it might not be quite as dumb as we previously thought. Bosh explained what he meant to Dan LeBatard on Miami's 790 the Ticket (transcribed by the essential Sports Radio Interviews):
"OK, I really don't understand. I can understand why people want to hear that, but in all honesty, we work extremely hard. We work extremely hard. We love our job. We love what we do. ... When you go to work and you work hard, you feel that sometimes you need to rest a little bit so you can perform when it's time to perform. Spo, he's a natural head coach. Just like any other head coach, he's gonna feel like, ‘We have to work at this,' because he has to be a perfectionist, right? ...
"We're like, ‘No, we'll figure it out.' It's just a common ground that we have to come to because we want to rest up for the next battle and he wants to prepare us for the next battle. We know we have to practice, and every time we go into practice, we're going at 100 percent. I said ‘Chill,' OK, that's fine. Let me clarify. When I said ‘Chill,' I didn't mean like I just chill at home every single day and don't go to the gym at all. In this league, you can't do that and be successful, I think we all know that. ... I was tired, I was happy we won, I used a happy word."
That clarifies, I suppose, although "chill" still seems like the wrong choice of words. It's not necessarily damning -- Thursday, Bethlehem Shoals nicely explained how "work" and "chill" can be states of mind rather than actions -- but it's still a choice of words that's just asking for criticism. By now, Bosh should know that everything he and his teammates say -- especially when it relates to effort and/or arrogance -- will be used as a cudgel to prove they're only champions on paper, not in their hearts and souls, where it matters.
It's yet another example of how the Heat sit under a media microscope the likes of which we've never seen. Every quote, look, and hand-signal will be analyzed to death. Their best hope for normalcy, or at least a minimum of distractions, is to embrace cliches. That might be boring, but it's their best hope of achieving success this season.