Chris Bosh has earned the right to fight for his career

In his sixth game after signing with the Miami Heat, Chris Bosh scored an underwhelming 15 points in a loss to the New Orleans Hornets. Miami lost 96-93. The Heat, as often happened during this era, were dominated on the glass, out-rebounded 42 to 36 by the Hornets, including 10 offensive rebounds. It was the difference in the game, and it didn’t help that Bosh, a power forward, grabbed just one rebound. It really didn’t help his case that his teammate Dwyane Wade, a guard, came down with 10. It was after that game when former ESPN hot-taker Skip Bayless, started using the nickname “Bosh Spice” to criticize Bosh for what he considered a series of soft performances.

In 2011, a year after his first season with the Heat, Bosh walked onto the set of ESPN’s First Take to confront Bayless about the nickname. Bosh didn’t have to appear on the show. Bayless has half-witted and insulting nicknames for plenty of professional athletes, and very few of them ever bother to confront Bayless about it. For Bosh, however, it was a matter of defending his pride.

“My only problem is just the whole misuse of the name. If I stink it up on the court that’s fine, I don’t have no problem with you. I love jokes, I love cracking on folks,” Bosh started. “My thing is, my family, we take a lot of pride in our name. My ancestors, my great grandfather, my father, my grandfather, my aunts and uncles, we’re very prideful with the Bosh name … because that’s all we have.”

Bayless jumped back in and gobbledygooked for a while. Bosh sat on the other side of him and never fully re-engaged. He said what he needed to say. He got on national TV and defended his name. His pride. In this case, they are the same thing. Like he said, that’s all he’s got.

After five years, three more NBA Finals appearances, two championships, five more All-Star games and, unfortunately, two blood clots that sidelined him for the last two seasons, Bosh is again defending his pride.

Bosh failed his latest physical with the Miami Heat, reportedly due to more blood clot concerns, and the team believes his career may be over. Even as Bosh shares his story through a self-produced documentary and on social media, he still has his critics who wonder why he would even bother trying to get back into the NBA. They call him a distraction to the team, or foolish to risk his life for basketball. They say he should just retire.