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Is Chris Bosh Doubting His Long-Term Future with Miami Heat?

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Is Chris Bosh Doubting His Long-Term Future with Miami Heat?
USA TODAY Sports

Lost in the shadows cast by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade is Chris Bosh.

From time to time, Bosh receives some praise for his due diligence. On others, he's called out for his rebounding, below-average shot-blocking and underwhelming post presence.

Mostly, though, Bosh flies under the radar. He's the third option on a team built around its first two; he's been forced to play the part of an ever-transitioning role player.

But is that who Bosh is, a complementary piece?

As a member of this current Miami Heat team, in a sense, he is. The appreciation for his mid-range game, rebounding and ability to play outside of his position and comfort zone isn't what it once was. 

And it's important to understand this: Bosh signed on with the Heat as a superstar, but he doesn't play the part of one.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Bosh's teammates cast an enormous shadow.

Sure, he's made two All-Star appearances since taking his talents to South Beach, but aside from the occasional commendation Bosh receives from Heat coach Erik Spoelstra, he's not held in the same regard as James or Wade.

Instead, his role is constantly being shuffled, his abilities questioned and his execution doubted.

After three years of "willingly" playing the part of a second-class sidekick, frustration is bound to mount. It should come as no surprise that Bosh is fed up with the teetering perspective from which his value to the Heat is viewed.

But is it to the point where he wants out? Or where he believes that this team may want to move on without him?

It's a fair series of questions, one that became even more legitimate when Bosh's mood boiled over to the point of transparency, as he openly (via Michael Wallace of ESPN.com) expressed his current frustrations:

Does that read as a man who is skeptical about his future?

No, not at all.

Is Bosh frustrated? Of course.

USA TODAY Sports
Bosh has sacrificed more than anyone else on the Heat.

The entire team is, after losing three of their last four. And if Bosh doubts anything, it's what the Heat need from him, not where his future lies.

Remember, Bosh is still the one in Miami who has made the most sacrifices—of anyone.

This is a star who is not only playing outside his position, but has welcomed a diminished status. He's entitled to a little sarcastic venting.

Why?

Because (per Joseph Goodman of The Miami Herald), Bosh is still willing to do whatever it takes to win:

Chris Bosh says he’s willing to do whatever it takes to help improve the Heat’s rebounding numbers. Apparently, that includes coming off the bench.

Speaking figuratively, more than anything, Bosh said he wouldn’t object to coming off the bench or just sitting to “learn some more” if that would help the team. The Heat has been outrebounded by 39 in its past two losses and much of the blame has fallen on Bosh. This month, Bosh is averaging 5.8 rebounds per game.

“Just saying how much invested into it I am,” Bosh said, smiling sarcastically. “We want the best rebounders out there on the court and to say that I’m lacking on my job and it’s not me, if I’m not a good rebounder out there, if I’m not what this team needs, then maybe I need to sit and learn some more or maybe someone needs to play some more. That’s just a figure of speech.”

Joking or not, Bosh is a man who is committed to his team, and they are committed to him.

Miami has finally climbed into the top half of the league in defensive efficiency and is currently 10th in points allowed in the paint (39.9) per game. Bosh is a part of that.

Will Miami be forced to disband in 2014 at the prospect of an overwhelming luxury tax bill?

Perhaps, but right now Bosh isn't worried about that. 

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Bosh has no reason to doubt his future in Miami right now.

He's wondering why the Heat are 29th in rebounds grabbed per game (39.1). He's concerned with the fact that his team is losing to inferior ones. And he's trying to figure out how he can be a part of the solution.

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The only doubt here is whether Miami will ever become a strong rebounding team.

Its current dynamic isn't going to grab a ton of boards when they're void of a true center. And that's not on Bosh. Nor is he concerned with this contingent's flaws being resolved at his expense.

"This is who we have," LeBron had said when asked about who the Heat could target to help salvage their presence on the glass.

And for the foreseeable future, this is who Miami will continue to have.

Bosh included.

 

*All stats in this article are accurate as of January 10, 2013.

 

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