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Defending Chris Bosh

Kelly Dwyer
Ball Don't Lie

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By now, you've likely heard Chris Bosh's(notes) comments to assorted media following Miami's loss to Chicago on Saturday night, and by now you've likely been disgusted by them. Rightfully. Because they're disgusting comments.

If you're unaware, understand that Bosh had to leave the game against the Bulls because of a turned ankle, after Bulls center Omer Asik(notes) fell on him in the third quarter. After a slow start, Bosh had been absolutely tearing up the Bulls' front line -- hitting jumpers, driving and getting to the line -- and Asik's unintended move (he was going for a loose ball) put a swift end to that.

Bosh, postgame, was rather displeased. As quoted by ESPN's Brian Windhorst:

"C'mon, that is how guys get hurt, that is how serious injuries happen," Bosh said.

"You've got to watch people's legs. I know guys want to hustle and everything but we all want to play and provide for our families and have a job."

Bosh was immediately frustrated with Asik, who has worked his way into coach Tom Thibodeau's lineup mostly through hustle and fighting for loose balls. Before he left the floor, Bosh shook hands with Asik but still was salty about the play after the game.

"We all want to be healthy and that is very important," said Bosh, who had 11 of his 17 points in the third quarter before the injury. "If it is by somebody's leg, don't dive for the ball, it's too close."

That's ... crappy. Don't say that.

When it came time to react, Holly MacKenzie of The Basketball Jones summed it up best:

Because in the split-second a player has to make the decision to dive for a loose ball, they've got time to stop and consider the ramifications of whether or not the ball could roll, or their body could collide with someone else, depending on the movement another player makes. I suppose, then, that Shaquille O'Neal(notes) should consider the well-being of his bench before diving for a loose ball and almost taking out his teammates. Or players like Dennis Rodman definitely should have thought twice before going after a loose ball and ending up in the crowd.

It's ridiculous. The game's the game, you play in the moment, and you should be on the ground. Whether you're taking in hundreds of millions of dollars, as MacKenzie points out, or a rookie scale of $1.7 million, as Asik is making this year.

But I understand why Bosh said the things he did. Because when you hurt yourself, and it's someone else's fault (even if they're not at fault), you turn into a giant jerk.

A massive one. Huge tool. Jerkface McGee.

That's exactly what Bosh is doing here, and anyone who has ever had someone come down on their ankle, or stepped on the foot of someone who was a little too close as you come down yourself, can understand. Nasty things come out, either right away, or a little later.

Even if you're not coming down from great heights, as was the case when I was rolling ankles (literally) left and right, these things hurt, these things handicap you, and everyone in the world is out to get you and they're all jerks and they're all going to hear about it.

It goes both ways, too. I had a friend in college who stopped being a friend after he came down on my foot shooting a jumper around the free-throw line. I did nothing wrong, and he stopped speaking to me immediately afterward. Even though, and I'm being serious, I lent him my air cast that I had used to mend my turned ankle from a few weeks prior. The guy then had to drop out over the summer to go to a different college closer to his home (for reasons, I'm assuming, that have nothing to do with a sprained ankle), and I never saw him again. And while I don't actually remember his name at this point, it still stings. We could have been best friends! What if he's famous? I didn't do anything wrong!

So I can completely understand Chris Bosh acting like a complete moron after the game, asking players not to dive on the floor for a loose ball, because he's incredibly angry and will go to ridiculous lengths to blame anything else besides a bad break for his troubles.

The problem here is what separates a chump like me and an All-Star like Bosh. Athletes don't give in. Pro athletes never admit they're wrong. A week later, I'll raise my hand and apologize for what I called your sister after you came down on my Nikes, but Bosh will never own up to it being a bit of frustration, because as we've realized through the years, he's pretty unaware of what people think of him.

Perhaps this is the start of the rebuilding process, after years spent putting his foot in his mouth. Perhaps this is where he warms all of our hearts by coming out and speaking on bro-level, admits that he was a massive tool for saying what he said, while asking us to understand he was pretty upset at not being given the chance to continue to rain jumpers over Carlos Boozer(notes) all night.

And that would be the reintroduction of cool Chris Bosh into our lives. Fingers crossed.

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