Five exclusive Miami Heat items to start the first week of February:
1. Chris Bosh sometimes takes a moment to reflect upon the company he keeps.
And not a moment more.
Last week presented another opportunity for such fleeting reflection, when he was named to his ninth All-Star team in just his 11th NBA season. That’s nine before he turns 30. That’s not bad for a player who is so frequently picked apart.
“I think about guys who have made the All-Star team a bunch of times,” Bosh told Bleacher Report on Saturday night. “I just try to let my body of work speak for itself. I’m too busy still trying to paint my masterpiece right now.”
Bosh called his career—with seven seasons in Toronto and four in Miami—“very interesting” so far, but he insisted he wouldn’t change anything.
“Contrary to a lot of people’s beliefs, I’m a pretty good player,” he said. “It’s interesting being in that position sometimes. It’s funny.”
Yet not all the time, right?
“Yeah, it’s all the time now, because I’ve learned to laugh a lot more than I used to,” Bosh said.
It does seem that, of late, more observers are looking past the raw numbers, which have declined some along with his touches since his featured star status as a Raptor.
“That’s the thing people have to realize, man,” Bosh said. “I’ve had great numbers in this league. I’ve averaged 30 for a month. Nothing happened. I’ve averaged 24, 25 points, and 10, 12, 13 rebounds. Nothing happened. And it’s like, all right, people say you’re one of the best players in the game, but you still feel empty because you’re not competing against the best, in the best part of the season. That’s what it’s about, man. Being on the court, being in a position for everything.”
And he makes sure to make this clear:
“I’m still going to have the numbers too,” Bosh said, laughing. “I’ll play enough years. I’ll be all right.”
2. Chris Andersen clearly has a little Rust Cohle in him.
Like Cohle, the True Detective character played by Matthew McConaughey, Andersen has Texas roots, the drawl to match and an air of danger.
And like Cohle, when Andersen finally starts talking, he’s prone to soliloquy.
Andersen was in full bloom Saturday night after he played 29 minutes—his second-highest total of the season—in the Heat’s win against the Knicks. Is he comfortable, at age 35, playing that many minutes, many of which are coming next to Bosh?
“Absolutely,” Andersen said. “I’m definitely comfortable, playing with C.B.”
“Yeah!” Bosh shouted.
“It’s us Texas boys down there in the paint, man!” Andersen continued. “You know what I’m saying! We hold the paint! Swerve lane to lane!”
“Hold it down!” Bosh chimed in.
In all seriousness, this is a significant step for Andersen. Last season, Erik Spoelstra didn’t want to extend him beyond 15 to 20 minutes, especially since Andersen would tire quickly. This season, Andersen has played at least 20 minutes in 11 games, 10 of those since the start of December. And he welcomes it.
“Of course,” Andersen said. “That’s what I was screaming last season.”
But Spoelstra kept holding him back.
“Well, yeah,” Andersen said, with a wry smile. “Yeah. Well, yeah. So.”
Then he looked his questioner in the eye.
“It’s all about having faith,” he said.
Sounds like someone is mainlining the secret truth of the universe.
3. Pat Riley entered the NBA in 1967, as a guard for the San Diego Rockets. That was one year after David Stern started working with the league—initially as outside counsel.
It took nearly five decades, but Riley finally outlasted him.
And on the last day of Stern’s 30-year tenure as commissioner, the Heat president had an analogy handy, in regards to Stern’s successor, Adam Silver.
“If you were to compare both Stern and Silver, if you were to make a basketball team up and those two guys were in your starting backcourt, David would be like your best defender and he would take anybody, he’d guard ‘em all,” Riley said by phone with Bleacher Report.
“And Adam, to me, comes off as somebody who is truly a quarterback, point guard, and can run any position from that standpoint. Not saying that he’s not a defensive player, or a tough man, I think he has both.”
Riley was especially impressed with Silver when the latter conducted a “Business of Basketball” session with Heat players and staffers in December. “He put together a presentation that was mind-blowing, from a man that you never hear much from, because David, he’s always the one that was the voice," Riley said.
"But to have an opportunity to sit there and see how widespread his knowledge of everything is—he’s across the board, a complete commissioner. Being taught at the arm of one of the greatest commissioners in all sports, but he brings a different, more contemporary approach to our players today, to our fanbase.”
Yet Riley did say he planned to address a critical issue with the new commissioner, and perhaps he already did when he sat with Silver at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, the day after this interview.
“I’m still trying to get my $50,000 fine back, from eight years ago,” Riley said, laughing. “And he would not give that to me. I said I want to donate it to a boarding school in New York. Or was that Stern? Or (former deputy commissioner) Russ Granik? Ah, I can’t remember.”
4. Ray Allen spent some of the best seasons of his career in Seattle.
The city has been in the spotlight in recent weeks, with the Seahawks winning Super Bowl XLVIII. But it still doesn’t have what it most wants: the return of NBA basketball, after the SuperSonics moved to Oklahoma City and became the Thunder in 2008. It came close to getting it back, only for Sacramento to find a way to keep its Kings.
Does Allen envision Seattle getting another shot?
“I think so,” Allen said. “I think enough dirt has been dug up in this past year, and everyone is gonna fight, from what I’ve seen, to get a team there. It’s just hard to say right now if you add another team or is another team gonna get to the point where they are just doing that bad that they’re gonna sell and the team will move? Obviously, everybody is thinking that Seattle is potentially the next city on the radar, but it’s going to have to get to the point where a team is not going to want to exist anymore, and it’s up to the owner.”
Allen has taken note of the Seahawks’ record-setting “12th Man,” and it’s reminded him of some nights at KeyArena.
“It’s a good sports-based city,” Allen said.
And yet, surprisingly, he wasn’t pulling for it on Sunday.
“I’m going with the Broncos,” Allen said, on the night before he hosted teammates at his house for a Super Bowl watch party. “Because everything Peyton (Manning) went through, I’d like to see him pull it out.”
5. Toney Douglas is anxious for a chance to get out in transition.
Instead, he’s gotten caught in it.
The Heat guard, acquired from the Warriors as a consequence of the Heat’s salary dump of Joel Anthony on the Boston Celtics, has played only three minutes since his arrival, and it will be tough to prove himself as the team continues to explore options to bolster its roster.
Meanwhile, while trying to make his name with his fifth NBA organization, he’s been waiting for his wife to head back to the West Coast to ship most of their stuff. But at least he has caught one break: where the schedule put the Heat just before the All-Star break.
The Heat play the Warriors in Oakland on Feb. 12.
“I was like, you know what, I can get some more clothes before the moving company,” Douglas said. “So that worked out all right.”
Now he just needs to stick around long enough so that he need not ship everything somewhere else.