A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Defending Chris Bosh’s emotion after Game 6

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Chris Bosh and LeBron James

Image by Keith Allison via Flickr

I know there’s a lot of other subjects people will discuss after these Finals. But I want to touch on a smaller moment and point of discussion: Chris Bosh breaking down into apparant tears in the hallway after the game, and at one point falling down on his knees. This drew ridicule from many fans. Bosh has had a reputation as a “soft” player for a while, attracting much of the hate directed at the Heat. This was one more reason for the vultures to swirl around Bosh’s lack of physicality in the game. I felt the opposite. I liked Bosh’s emotion and pain after this crushing Finals loss.

I want my players to react to a loss the way Bosh did. No, they don’t have to break down into visible tears – it’s not about what’s on the surface. But I want them to be as invested in winning the title that losing hurts this much. I want this to be the worst day of their lives. I want the game to mean that much to them. Because if it does, they’re surely giving it all on the court.

Compare Bosh’s reaction to LeBron James. I watched Lebron’s postgame press conference where he answered questions like he just lost a meaningless regular season game. Now, Lebron could very well have just been keeping his disappointment and discontent with the Heat’s loss in. But he seemed apathetic to me. Furthermore, his apathy and shrug-off reaction fit with the rest of his Finals for me. I never felt Lebron leaving everything on the court in desire and energy, playing like nothing else mattered in the world but winning this series.

That is the biggest reason for all of our disappointment with James in this series. We will forgive a bad series if a player leaves it all on the table and just misses his shots. We won’t forgive a performance where the player doesn’t bring it emotionally or energy-wise and acts like he’s content with his lack of aggression.

That’s why Bosh’s tears of frustration, both here and earlier in the season after a 5 game losing streak, always impressed me more than drew my ridicule. That’s how much I want all of the Heat’s big 3 to care. Lebron didn’t show that passion either on the court these Finals and didn’t show it off. And it is the single most disappointing part about his career so far.

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Written by jr.

June 13, 2011 at 7:26 pm

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