Chris Bosh not feeling the love nationally
MIAMI — Chris Bosh says he’s not a popular guy. And he will film no advertisements this season in an attempt to change that.
In 2007-08, Bosh -- now with Miami and then with Toronto -- put a video on YouTube asking fans to vote him in as an All-Star Game starter. The clip, in which Bosh played a used car salesman, was quite funny but didn’t work in getting a starting berth.
"That was that one time for fun," Bosh said Friday when asked if he might film another spot this season to help get an All-Star starting spot. "I know a lot of people wanted me to do that again. But whatever I’d put out would be a failure because people would have a certain outlook on how it’s supposed to be."
One would think Bosh has a better chance to become an East All-Star starter this season, considering he has moved from power forward to center and Dwight Howard -- a perennial All-Star at the position -- has departed from Orlando to the Lakers of the West. The league also has changed its ballot from fans picking two forwards and a center to going with three frontcourt players.
Two of the frontcourt starters almost certainly will be Heat forward LeBron James and New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony. But the third spot is wide open, and one would think Bosh has a good shot.
But Bosh doesn’t look at it that way.
"I know I’m not extremely popular," Bosh said about his chances of being voted a starter for the Feb. 17 All-Star Game in Houston after balloting begins Nov. 13. "So, if you know that going in, nothing else can surprise you. So I have no expectations."
Bosh actually did represent the Toronto Raptors as an East starter in the 2007 All-Star Game. But he speaks as if he got the spot by default.
"That was a while ago," Bosh said. "Somebody had to be it and then (Kevin Garnett) came in (from Minnesota of the West to Boston in 2007-08) and I didn’t see the starting court again. So it’s a popularity contest."
With that in mind, Bosh, who is not exactly known for being flashy and is deemed by many to be a third wheel in Miami behind James and guard Dwyane Wade, doesn’t believe he’s popular.
"He’s not (popular)," James said of Bosh, who averaged 18.0 points and 7.9 rebounds last season and has nine-year averages of 19.8 and 9.1. "He doesn’t get the respect that he deserves. I know how important he is. We know how important he is. But he’s an All-Star. He’s one of the best players that we have in this league."
Miami forward Udonis Haslem calls Bosh the "most underrated player in the league."
Wade said Bosh’s reserved nature is one reason he’s not popular.
"Chris is quiet," Wade said. "He’s not a guy who ever has been loud or not been a guy who has grabbed headlines like other guys. But, talent-wise, he’s as good as anybody that can be voted into the All-Star Game."
Bosh actually has made seven straight All-Star appearances, six as a reserve. He’s all but a lock to make it eight straight, and he has a chance to start again even if he says he’s hardly a darling of fans.
Bosh’s competition for the third frontcourt spot should come from Philadelphia center Andrew Bynum, New York forward Amar’e Stoudemire and Garnett, now the Celtics' center. If Bosh wins a berth, he would join shoo-ins James and Wade to give Miami three All-Star starters.
No NBA team has done that in 23 years. The 1989-90 Lakers featured All-Star starters Magic Johnson, James Worthy and A.C. Green.
"That would be ideal," James said of three Heat players possibly starting in Houston. "It would be a great thing. And, hopefully, we can all play at that All-Star level and people can recognize that and the fans will recognize that and vote us all three in as starters. And hopefully we can do our part."
Bosh will try to do his part on the court. It won’t include any video appearances.
Chris Tomasson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter@christomasson