Tag:Chris Bosh
Posted on: July 27, 2011 8:37 pm
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NBA lockout threatens 2012 USA Olympics team?

Posted by Ben Golliver

team-usa-2008

A dozen of America's top athletes leaping for joy after securing an Olympics gold medal while the foreign opponent huddles together with heasd bowed consoling themselves. You don't have to sport a tattoo of the American flag on your bicep to get a rise out of that scene.

Unfortunately, the NBA lockout hangs over all of basketball these days. And Yahoo! Sports reports that if the league cancels the entire 2011-2012 season it could jeopardize NBA player participation in the 2012 Summer Olympics. In other words, the scene pictured above from Beijing in 2008 might not be repeated in London.
In the doomsday scenario, where labor strife causes the cancellation of the 2011-12 NBA season, and the work stoppage drags into June and then July, there’s little, if no chance, the great American players could play in the Olympics. Team USA is too tied to the NBA – too much of a David Stern production – for the players to break ranks and play. In the post 9-11 world, that’s a tricky subject PR-wise for the players, but several union, USA Basketball and agent sources believe this worst-case labor scenario would cost Team USA its NBA stars.

As the managing director of USA Basketball, Jerry Colangelo answers to Stern, and the league – along with its ATM machine, Nike – has immense impact on the coaching staff and roster. How could the NBA allow its coaches – Team USA assistants Nate McMillan and Mike D’Antoni – to coach NBA players during a lockout? Still, that’s the worst-case scenario, but it’s one that USA Basketball will have to consider should the labor dispute push deep into the NBA season. In this instance, Team USA would have to field a team of American players who’ve built careers overseas, as well as D-League players, and perhaps a superior college superstar or two.

That would obviously put the USA at a serious disadvantage, especially because foreign-born NBA players would almost certainly compete in the Olympics, lockout or not. Teams like Spain, France and Argentina, to name three, could put more raw talent on the court than a mish-mashed USA roster. For perhaps the first time ever, USA would be an unquestioned underdog entering the tournament. That would be a terrible nightmare.

Let's just not think about it. Assuming the lockout is resolved and NBA players are willing and able to compete for their country, here are the 12 names and seven potential alternates for the the roster.
The USA has tended to play versatile, small ball line-ups in recent international competitions. It's unlikely they would add multiple new big men unless one of the 2008 team members decided not to come back. When in doubt, the mantra seems to be, add shooting, which could favor younger guards like Curry and Gordon, who both played on the 2010 World Championships team.
Posted on: July 26, 2011 8:34 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 10:11 pm
 

Dwight Howard on playing for the Heat: 'Never'

Posted by Ben Golliverdwight-howard

Orlando Magic All-Star center Dwight Howard has done his best to keep his options open as he slowly approaches free agency.

All of his options, apparently, except for one.

ESPN.com reports that Howard, speaking at a comic convention, has ruled out one NBA team as a possible destination: the 2011 Eastern Conference Champion Miami Heat.
What about the Lakers? "That's everybody's question," he told the "Kick" audience. "I am wearing purple … but that's Rock's outfit."

The Heat? "Never."

Stay with the Magic or leave for free agency? "At this point, I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm just enjoying life and taking advantage of being young and being able to travel and do the things that I've always wanted to do."

Howard has added plenty of fuel to the battle for NBA supremacy in Florida since LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh decided to team up in South Beach. He's mocked James' chalk toss, made fun of his hairline and criticized The Decision, to name three obvious examples.

But this blunt dismissal of the Heat is no idle trash talk or laughing matter. Howard seems to be expressing a philosophical difference between himself and his rivals to the south.

It's an interesting stance for him to take, considering that it's his expressed desire to win a title and a trade to the Heat for one of their Big 3 would represent a very, very good way for Howard to reach a ring.

But Howard wants to be the alpha dog. He craves and seeks attention, clearly isn't interested in following someone else's path and, perhaps more than anything, is smart enough to pander to Magic fans. Howard going to the hated Heat is their worst nightmare and he's still got to play out his current contract, after all. 
Posted on: July 25, 2011 3:50 pm
Edited on: July 25, 2011 3:54 pm
 

Alonzo Mourning gets misdemeanor over car crash

Posted by Ben Golliveralonzo-mourning

Former NBA player and current Miami Heat executive Alonzo Mourning has reportedly been hit with a misdemeanor by the Florida Highway Patrol for his involvement in a recent traffic accident.

The Sun-Sentinel reports that Mourning has been cited for leaving the scene after he ran into a vehicle that had been involved in a previous crash. The incident occurred just hours after Mourning left the wedding celebration of Heat forward Chris Bosh.
Mourning got out of his car and checked on Candalerio and the driver of the Chevy, the report states. He left the scene, notified the Highway Patrol about the incident, and was told to return to the crash site, according to the Highway Patrol.

Alcohol was not a factor in either crash, investigators said.

In addition to the misdemeanor charge, Mourning was cited for leaving the scene without giving information, which could mean a fine and points on his license, Pikul said. He will receive a notice to appear in court before a hearing officer.
As noted last week, Mourning is being sued by the driver of the car that he hit.

Mourning has been pretty mum on this entire turn of events, although he did give a statement to the Associated press last week.
“I have been completely cooperative and have met with the police, and now that the facts are straightened out, I think everyone will see that I didn’t cause the accident and didn’t cause any injuries. Now I hope this distraction is over and we can focus on what’s really important this week, which is our foundation’s annual charity event, The Summer Groove. I am now waiting for the police to finish their investigation, and happy they are conducting a thorough one.”
The good news, obviously, is that no one was seriously injured.

If there's a lesson to be learned here it's that this incident is probably all Bosh's fault, just like everything else that goes wrong with the Heat. If only he hadn't had to go and get married.
Posted on: July 21, 2011 6:16 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 10:29 pm
 

2011 NBA All-Star likeability rankings

Posted by Ben Golliver.

wade-durant-bryant

It's one thing to be great on the court. It's one thing to be famous. It's one thing to be marketable. It's one thing to be respected. 

But how do we throw all those attributes together? How do we determine which of the NBA's brightest stars are the most well-rounded? How do we put our finger on which stars capture the imagination, drop jaws and tug on the heart strings? 

It's an impossible task, but that didn't stop the Eye On Basketball staff from trying. Over the last week, we pinpointed five characteristics that combine to make NBA players likeable: "Ballin' Ability" (how good a guy is as a player), "Winning Attitude" (how dedicated he is to the game), "Talking Softly" (how he comes across in public comments), "Commerical Appeal" (how visible he is in advertisements) and "Public Works" (charitable contributions and other character-defining achievements).

Our panel of four experts ranked every member of the 2011 All-Star teams on a 1-5 scale in each of these five categories. We then added up all the scores to get a ranking on a 1 to 100 scale. The higher the number, the more likeable the player. Pretty simple stuff. 

Without further ado, here are the CBSSports.com 2011 NBA All-Star likeability rankings, from worst (least likeable) to first (most likeable). 

24. Joe Johnson, Atlanta Hawks: Johnson’s unassuming personality and solid perimeter game don’t stand much of a chance here due to his relatively invisible national profile and his team’s lack of playoff success. Score: 44

23. Al Horford, Atlanta Hawks: Horford suffers from the same low-profile problem as Johnson but is perceived as more of a winner because he took home NCAA hardware at the University of Florida, and his game is predicated on doing whatever it takes to get the job done rather than jacking jumpers. Score: 48

22. Chris Bosh, Miami Heat: Bosh is intelligent, articulate and gentle off the court and a versatile talent on the court, so he should be prettychris-bosh-tears likeable, at least in theory. His goofiness -- the photo shoots, the secret wedding, the screaming at the preseason parade -- has become off-putting now that he’s teamed up with LeBron James and Dwyane Wade. His status as the league’s most obvious punch line hurts him here. A lot. Score: 54

T-20. Russell Westbrook, Oklahoma City Thunder: Still just a half-touch too far up the “might be crazy” scale to be totally likeable at this point in his career. Westbrook is still stuck in Kevin Durant’s shadow, although he showed with his fearless play in the 2011 postseason that he might one day eclipse KD in terms of sheer star power. Could be a fast riser in future renditions of these rankings, especially if he can cut down his turnovers and shake a developing reputation as a bit of a late-game ball hog. Saying something interesting after a game once in a while wouldn't hurt either. Score: 55

T-20. Pau Gasol, Los Angeles Lakers: Much like the Lakers, Gasol took a step back in prominence this season when he didn’t show up as expected -- and as needed -- in the postseason. His gangly frame isn’t particularly marketable, at least not here in the United States, and while he is a true professional when it comes to the media, he’s known first and foremost as Kobe Bryant’s on-again, off-again punching bag. Score: 55

19. Rajon Rondo, Boston Celtics: More than anyone else on this list, Rondo genuinely doesn’t care what you think about him. He can come across as curt and moody, and doesn’t expend much energy playing the media game. His authenticity can’t be questioned, but it does keep casual fans at arm’s length. Score: 58

18. Manu Ginobili, San Antonio Spurs: An egoless star on an egoless team in an egoless organization in a relatively small market, Ginobili has never sought the bright lights. Even after all these years, the average fan doesn’t have much of a connection with him. There’s nothing not to like, but nothing that reaches out and grabs you either. Score: 59

17. Deron Williams, New Jersey Nets: Williams gets bonus points for his amazing annual dodgeball tournament and rose to a new level of renown this year thanks to a blockbuster trade and a trailblazing deal with Besiktas in Turkey. The rumored spats with Jerry Sloan that surfaced when the legendary Utah Jazz coach abruptly retired briefly painted a very unlikable picture, although that didn’t seem to bother him too much. Score: 61

16. Paul Pierce, Boston Celtics: Beloved in Boston, Pierce’s personal likeability suffers a bit nationally because he’s almost always talked about as one of Boston’s Big Three, with Kevin Garnett usually getting top billing. He's a bit past his prime, which surely costs him some spots on this list. Score: 62

15. Ray Allen, Boston Celtics: Allen is pretty much in the same boat as Pierce, although he’s got an energetic mother (the ever-present Flo), a picture-perfect jump shot and an unforgettable silver screen performance (Jesus Shuttlesworth) to give him a bit of a boost. Score: 64

14. Kevin Love, Minnesota Timberwolves: Love is the anti-Rondo, fully embracing the media attention, putting his self-kevin-love-smiledeprecating humor to full display whenever possible. He’s blogged, starred in viral videos and, let’s not forget, put up mammoth statistics through sheer hard work amidst a dysfunctional mess of a team. All while remaining sane. No easy task. Score: 65

T-12. Kevin Garnett, Boston Celtics: Thanks to his on-court bullying antics and incessant trash talk, Garnett is as polarizing as anyone in the league, save LeBron James. But his reputation as a winner was sealed by Boston’s title, he’s been a fixture on the national endorsement circuit for years and his overwhelming competitive desire helps cover up some of the ugliness. Score: 66

 T-12. Amar’e Stoudemire, New York Knicks: Near the top of his game and playing in a major media market, Stoudemire keeps the dunks and quotes coming, so everyone stays happy. The fact that he abandoned Steve Nash immediately following a Western Conference Finals playoff run to take more money without catching any flak for it is a testament to how he’s carved out a major place in the nation’s heart in his own, quirky way. Score: 66

11. Carmelo Anthony, New York Knicks: Anthony’s steady focus during a half-season-long free agency and trade whirlwind last year won him a lot of goodwill, as does the fact that he’s put millions of dollars into both Syracuse University and Baltimore. Based on talent alone, Anthony should probably be higher on this list, but wife LaLa and his lack of playoff success hold him back. Score: 68

10. Blake Griffin, Los Angeles Clippers: Griffin is still enjoying the “new-car smell” phase of his NBA fame. His audacious take-offs, explosive leaping and vicious finishing are so unique for a player his size that nobody much cares that he didn’t make the playoffs and still has a ways to go to fill out an all-around game. The centerpiece of All-Star Weekend in his very first visit, he’s got endorsements by the boatload and is arguably on the verge of over-exposure. He’s still a little stiff, but that seems to be fading. Once he gets a few playoff series wins under his belt, look for Griffin to be a perennial top-5 member on this list. Score: 71

9. Tim Duncan, San Antonio Spurs: Duncan has been so good for so long -- and won so much -- that the respect factor afforded him is significant enough to make up for a bland, sometimes robotic, personality. Duncan can be subtly hilarious and occasionally sharp-tongued with the media. He is also unfailingly classy. Score: 72

8. LeBron James, Miami Heat: He should be No. 1 on every NBA list ever made given his otherworldly talent and global-marketinglebron-james-face-machine status, but James drops hard in terms of likeability due to his late-game failures in the 2011 NBA Finals, his out-of-touch comments towards fans following the Heat's eventual loss to the Dallas Mavericks, the self-unaware “Decision” and his overall child-star cockiness/obliviousness. Even given all of that, no one would be surprised if winning a title vaulted him to the top of this list next year. His talent is that absurd. Score: 74

7. Derrick Rose, Chicago Bulls: You might have heard: Rose is humble. The 2011 MVP has so much going for him: He’s won at an early age, he’s winning for his hometown team, he’s lived up to expectations, he’s taken responsibility for losses and shared credit for victories, he’s managed to be a scoring point guard without getting written off as “selfish,” and he kept a safe distance from all the free agency politicking that soured a lot of fans on many top-name players last summer. He continues to battle his “shy” public nature, which is the only thing holding him back from much, much greater fame. Score: 79

6. Chris Paul, New Orleans Hornets: Paul checks off virtually every box on the likeability list. He’s cutthroat on the court and cuddly off of it. He’s raised loads of money for Hurricane Katrina relief. He’s a devout man without being preachy. He comes across as a caring father and thoughtful citizen. He’s -- so far -- steered clear of hijacking his franchise by demanding a trade or threatening to walk in free agency. The touching story of his love for his deceased grandfather has become an indelible part of his identity. And he is team-first, always. There’s so much to like that you actually hope he finds a better situation, where he will be able to fill out his playoff reputation. Score: 81

5. Dirk Nowitzki, Dallas Mavericks: This is the top of the mountain for Nowitzki, both on and off the court. It simply doesn’t get any better than captaining a balanced team through a marathon playoff run that ended with the demolition of the league’s most hated team. The cherry on top is the fact that Nowitzki came through in the clutch time and again. He’s put an ugly past relationship totally behind him, moving forward with a new fiancé. His personality with the media is easy-going and honest. He plays with a childish love of the game and hits shots that make you marvel. It’s hard to imagine another seven-foot German man gaining this level of acceptance and respect in the United States. Ever. Also, he’s squashed the “soft” label that haunted him for years. Score: 84

4. Dwight Howard, Orlando Magic: Howard has deftly positioned himself as the heir apparent to Shaquille O’Neal, one of the most likeable NBA stars in recent memory. His dominant two-way play serves as the basis for a superhero persona, and his active online presence and numerous endorsement deals make his zany personality inescapable. The fact that he hasn’t committed to the Magic and could be headed for a free agency bonanza could cost him points down the road, but right now he’s still the giant, lovable teddy bear who can swat shots back to half court. Score: 85

T-2. Dwyane Wade, Miami Heat: It was a shocking scene when Wade joined James in mocking Nowitzki during the Finals for being sick: A very flat note for someone who has historically been pitch perfect. Throughout his career, Wade has been a Teflon Don, particularly charmed as a player and as an endorser. With a title under his belt and a megawatt smile, Wade has displayed a good sense of humor for years as a pitchman and also been a staple on NBA Cares commercials. Both James and Bosh lost points last summer for their decision to team up in Miami, but Wade came off as a big winner, the cool older-brother figure who pulled off the recruiting haul of a lifetime. Score: 87

kevin-durant-smile

T-2. Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers: Colorado sure feels like a long, long time ago, doesn’t it? Bryant has made the most of the second half of his NBA career, winning rings by the fistful and growing his international popularity immensely. He’s played through pain, done things his way, taken a direct, often profane, tone with the media and become the closest thing to Jordan since Jordan. Age is slowly advancing, which has a way of humanizing people, and yet his ego and force of will push back equally hard, making it seem, at least for now, that his reign on top will last as long as he chooses. Right now, he’s the NBA’s most mythical figure. Score: 87

1. Kevin Durant, Oklahoma City Thunder: Surprised? You shouldn’t be. It’s virtually impossible to find fault with the NBA’s scoring champ. Durant combines Rose’s humble nature, Nowitzki’s impossible scoring touch, Griffin’s “new-car smell,” Howard’s technological accessibility and a Bryant-esque work ethic. He’s polite, he’s shown he has what it takes to win in the playoffs at a young age, he’s popular on an international stage already and the best is yet to come. He’s confident, but not cocky. He’s a gunner, but he comes off as unselfish. He’s team-first and loyal, much like Paul, and he’s locked in long-term so there’s no doubt or question about his future motives (at least not yet). Put it all together, and Durant is enjoying the ultimate honeymoon period with the NBA fans. We love potential, and Durant still has plenty of that. Also, he wears a backpack. Score: 88







Posted on: July 19, 2011 4:42 pm
Edited on: July 19, 2011 4:45 pm
 

Shaq snubs Chris Bosh, calls Heat 'Big 2'

Shaquille O'Neal makes fun of Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh. Posted by Ben Golliver. shaq-bosh

Shaquille O'Neal is getting his television commentary career off to a fast start, wasting no time hopping aboard the Chris Bosh Punchline bandwagon.

The Associated Press reports that O'Neal took a swipe at the oft-lambasted Heat forward during a televised special announcing the release of the 2011-2012 NBA schedule.
"The Miami Heat, they've got a lot of great players, the 'Big 2.' They will be back," O'Neal said from Louisiana during the broadcast, when discussing the NBA Finals and how Dallas was able to beat Miami for the title. "LeBron James is taking a lot of criticism, but I know LeBron very well. He hears everything that everyone is saying, so I think he's going to come back and have an MVP year this year." 

"Dwyane Wade, LeBron James, you know, they're great players, they're probably the greatest backcourt ever assembled," O'Neal said. "And you know, they're going to get back. They're going to get back. They play well, they went through a lot, they put a lot of pressure on themselves. That's how they like it. And they will be back."
Not particularly original work by O'Neal, but it's good to see that he won't be in the tank for his former team. Sure, he might be pandering to public sentiment but it's definitely better than hearing him defend LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and company.

Best case scenario: O'Neal and fellow commentator Charles Barkley get into a mano-a-mano competition to see who can give the Heat a harder time. Both have shown the ability to be a bit merciless, and certainly that will appeal to the wide swath of NBA fans who enjoy watching the Heat struggle.

O'Neal's Boston Celtics were eliminated by the Heat in the second round of the Eastern Conference playoffs. O'Neal was limited by injuries and was only able to play 12 minutes total in the series, scoring two points and grabbing zero rebounds. The injuries and his age led him to decide to retire in June.  
Posted on: July 19, 2011 4:16 pm
Edited on: July 21, 2011 3:18 pm
 

Miami Heat 2011-2012 NBA schedule breakdown

A breakdown of the 2011-2012 Miami Heat NBA schedule. Posted by Ben Golliver.

heat-lost

After the 2011 NBA Finals, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the rest of the Miami Heat were fresh out of answers. The Dallas Mavericks were too much for them, a tough, balanced, steady team that overwhelmed and wore down South Beach's talented trio.

On Tuesday, the NBA officially announced its 2011-2012 schedule, which means it is time to turn our attention to the Heat's quest for redemption. 

First, a few notes. The Heat play just 17 back-to-backs, a bit below average. They're scheduled to appear on national television 25 times, tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for tops in the league.

Without further ado, here are 10 games worth keeping an eye on, assuming there is a full 82-game season with no games lost to a work stoppage due to the ongoing lockout.

Season Opener

The Miami Heat's road back to the Finals begins in Madison Square Garden, where they open their season against the New York Knicks on Wednsday, Nov. 2. Most likely, the Knicks still won't be any good, but they do look good on paper thanks to the tandem of Amar'e Stoudemire and Carmelo Anthony. The Heat were 2-2 against the Knicks last year and they lost their 2010-2011 season opener to the Boston Celtics, so this won't be a cakewalk. Still, with vision of J.J. Barea running through them and Jason Terry bombing over the top of them, the Heat should come out motivated and take care of business. 

First Loss

No one can forget Miami's slow start last year. The Heat began just 9-8 and rumors circulated that Heat coach Erik Spoelstra could be in danger of losing his job. This year, the opening schedule is fairly easy. The Heat do have to endure a back-to-back against the Knicks and Orlando Magic to start the season, but four of their next six games are against lottery teams and they play nine of their first 13 games at home. Only three of those 13 opponents won more than 46 games last season (the Celtics and the Magic, whom they play twice). Look for the Celtics to draw first blood again this year. Boston travels to Miami for a rematch of their second round playoff series on Nov. 16. Rajon Rondo will be healthy by then.

Return To Cleveland


LeBron James gets his first visit back to Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland out of the way early in 2011-2012, as the Heat travel to face James' former team, the Cavaliers, in their 8th game of the season. Will James and his entourage be allowed in the parking garage this time? Will the cheers for No. 1 overall draft pick Kyrie Irving eclipse the boos for James? Will he do the chalk toss? Will he have to use the bathroom during introductions again? These important questions and more will be answered on Friday, Nov. 18.

The Lake Show 

A regular season rendition of the Finals match-up that everyone anticipated but never materialized takes place on Thursday, Dec. 8 when the Los Angeles Lakers travel to South Florida. The last time Kobe Bryant and company were in town, the Heat held the Lakers to just 80 points and Bryant released his frustrations by staying at the arena for hours afterwards, getting up some extra shots. The X-factor will be how much damage Andrew Bynum can do (and who the Heat will find in free agency to guard him).

Holiday Appetizer

In a welcome run-up to the Christmas Day showcase game, the Heat will visit the young and super talented Thunder in Oklahoma City for the first of two meetings this season. The game will be nationally televised on Friday, Dec. 23, and feature five of the most athletic and exciting NBA All-Stars in the Heat's trio plus Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. It will be awesome. There really better not be a work stoppage.
 
Christmas Day


The 2011 NBA Finals will have its first official rematch on Christmas Day as the centerpiece of a triple-header. The Heat will head to Dallas to face the Mavericks and confront their late-game collapse demons. Really, I can't imagine a worse way for James to spend Christmas than in the building where he saw his best chance for a ring slip away while playing some of the least effective basketball of his recent career. Kinda brutal, but those are the breaks.

Road Warriors

On Friday, Jan. 6, the Heat travel to the Sacramento Kings to begin their longest West Coast swing of the season. The Heat will play the Kings, Phoenix Suns, Golden State Warriors, Los Angeles Clippers and Denver Nuggets over a one-week period. That sounds pretty tough, but it's possible that all five of those teams will miss the playoffs next year and there's only one back-to-back, meaning things could be a lot worse. If the Heat are able to stack up wins on this trip -- and perhaps sweep the quintet --it could be pivotal in determining Eastern Conference playoff positioning. 

Running Of The Bulls


The Heat face the Chicago Bulls, their Eastern Conference Finals opponent, four times this season, but all four games will take place in 2012. The first chance Derrick Rose will have to redeem himself will be Thursday, Jan. 19, when Chicago travels to Miami. The Bulls come back to Miami again later in January before the Heat travel to the United Center for games during March and April. If these two teams are duking it out for the top seed in the East, as expected, they'll get four solid head-to-head chances to settle things directly.

Playoff Push


February 2012 is highlighted by another five-game road trip, this time against all Eastern Conference teams, beginning on Wednesday, Feb. 8. This trip is great news for the Heat: four of their five opponents (New Jersey Nets, Washington Wizards, Milwaukee Bucks and Cleveland Cavaliers) missed the playoffs last season and the fifth, the Philadelphia 76ers, were dismantled fairly easily in the first round of last year's playoffs. It's not often a team has the opportunity to sweep two separate 5-game road trips in a single season, but the Heat definitely have the possibility. Best of all, none of the games in this stretch are back-to-backs.

Season Finale

The Heat close out their season at home against the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday, April 18. There's always a decent shot that playoff seeding and pairings will already be set, meaning this game could be a Miami fan's best bet to see the odd assortment of end-of-the-bench guys that president Pat Riley assembles to fill out his roster. Good times. 
Posted on: July 17, 2011 8:55 pm
Edited on: July 17, 2011 11:51 pm
 

Chris Bosh wedding pictures

Chris Bosh wedding photos with new wife Adrienne Williams in Miami. Posted by Ben Golliver.

chris-bosh-wedding-1

The last time we saw Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh, he was collapsing to the ground in the locker room tunnel following a soul-crushing loss to the Dallas Mavericks in Game 6 of the 2011 NBA Finals.

It's safe to say he's recovered fairly well.

On Saturday, Bosh held an elaborate and ridiculously expensive wedding ceremony with his bride, Adrienne Williams, in Miami's Fontainebleau Hotel. Against all odds, both LeBron James and Dwyane Wade actually showed up, as did Heat president Pat Riley, who was granted an exception to the league's no-contact rule with current players to attend the event.

Curious what the hotel has going for it? Here's its wedding pitch.
Fontainebleau Miami Beach is a canvas to your imagination, where the focus is you - your passions, your dreams, and your spectacular wedding day. We will inspire a wedding to express you - unique, chic, and perhaps a bit unconventional. Mix in the pleasures of luxury surroundings, fine cuisine and superlative venues with striking sophistication.

Fontainebleau Miami Beach offers elegant ballrooms with enduring architectural imprints and an intoxicating mix of old and new 21st century glamour. Inside, floating ceilings, crystal chandeliers and plentiful sweeping curves impart an ultramodern atmosphere. We offer various options for your special day with one of a kind outdoor event space, including the Ocean lawn for elegant festivities. Our wedding planners provide personal, imaginative and discreet planning.
"Unique, chic and perhaps a bit unconventional." Yep, that sounds like Bosh. 

Anyway, here are a few more pictures of Chris Bosh's wedding festivities. All photos via Jason Binn on Twitter and Facebook

Here Wade and James sandwiching Heat forward Udonis Haslem. They all seem quite happy. Original here.

chris-bosh-wedding-2

Bosh gets a smooch from his bride with the cake in the foreground. Original here.

chris-bosh-wedding-four

Here's Heat president Pat Riley with a magazine publisher. Original here.

chris-bosh-wedding-5

Top photo original is here.

Hat tip: JocksAndStilletoJill.com
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Posted on: July 8, 2011 1:21 pm
Edited on: July 8, 2011 1:59 pm
 

The Decision: One Year Later

Posted by Matt Moore

LeBron James walked into a Greenwich, Conn., Boys & Girls Club 365 days ago, sat down in a purple-plaid button-up with Jim Gray (who let that guy into this thing, again?), and said the words so famous. I'm not even going to bother you with a YouTube clip. You know what happened.

In the year since, James has been transformed into some sort of mutated version of himself. He's hated by fans in Chicago, Boston, New York, L.A., and especially Cleveland. He's booed in random arenas. He's filleted by every major columnist, television personality and talk-show host every time he opens his mouth. He's public enemy No. 1, all while he's the most popular jersey in the league, its most recognizable star and, arguably, the game's best player. 

So the question should be asked: What exactly did we learn from "The Decision"?

Consider our reaction when the television special was announced:
It doesn't matter where James goes. It's how he announces it. The man is having an hour on the most powerful sports television entity in the world, selling his own advertising, and donating it to charity, only furthering his image. There will be backlash, because that's what happens when you market yourself. It's self-aggrandizement, but you should also recognize that it's proof of the power of controlling your own message, of honing and delivering it on your own terms. More so than going to New York or Chicago or staying home and being the hero, it's the process of his declaration that gives this moment its weight. It's false dramatics, but then, this is sport. We turn athletes into Warriors and games into legends. We're not above this behavior, James is simply harnessing its full power.

LeBron James is on the verge of a decision which will impact the next half-decade in the NBA. He could win multiple titles or walk away empty handed. He could destroy Cleveland or save it. He could resurrect New York, rise in Jordan's shadow, claim Brooklyn as his kingdom, or bring the party to South Beach. But in reality, regardless of his decision, he's making history. He's bringing the power of individual control to a new level, and capitalizing on the full weight of his business potential. For years, he's discussed wanting to be a global icon. It turns out that where he plays may not be the key to accomplishing that. Instead, his method for revealing his decision could be the launching pad towards finally reaching that particular atmosphere.
via Community - CBSSports.com.

"The Decision" was supposed to capitalize on a rare opportunity to expand James' brand to global status. For years, there had been talk that James' ultimate goal was to be a "global brand" and not just a basketball player. This seemed to fit right in line with that thinking. Despite the money going to a good cause (a fact which really was overlooked in the whole thing; what's more important, where James played the next few years in basketball or helping kids have better lives?), the move did not come off as empowerment. Or more accurately, it did, and that empowerment offended people.

Athletes are better served by having things "blessed" upon them. Offered an extension from your team despite its decision-making that led to things like, "We should get Antawn Jamison not Amar'e Stoudemire because we don't want to give up J.J. Hickson" and "Ben Wallace will be the difference maker!"? You should be humbled to have been blessed with the offer. It's not just that you shouldn't act as if James did in orchestrating the Decision (or his people did, rather), it's that you should be the opposite. Kevin Garnett lost no face in sad-facing his way out of Minnesota, because he did it out of the public eye and when asked about it, never said anything about choosing anything other than Minnesota. James challenged all that, spat in the face of it. And no one liked that. Especially not Cleveland.

If there was one group of people who were right, and continue to be right, in bashing James and keeping the fires of hatred alive, it's Cavs fans. That was either the legitimate reason, or viable excuse, for all the hatred outside of the state of Ohio, the idea that everyone felt bad for Cleveland. This, despite the fact that most big-city, coastal demographics could have cared less about everything in between the coasts, at least as it relates to sports (and in reality in regards to most things) every day up until July 8th of last year, and every day after that didn't involve LeBron James in the discussion. All of a sudden, everyone was heartbroken for Cleveland, without ever really understanding how the trauma was simply part of a bigger picture that crosses all sports, and honestly reflected a lot of the frustration from non-sports factors like politics and the economy. But Cleveland was the rallying cry, the "Remember the Alamo" for hating LeBron James. And it was righteous. 

The Decision itself was overdone. That's definitely true. And it was obnoxious. Trust me, I had to cover the thing, responding to every aspect of it. I've had to live with "taking my talents to..." jokes for 365 days and have drowned in the overbearance of both James' process of selection and the subsequent fallout. It was over the top. But there's nothing wrong with being over the top. It's just a little sleazy. It just makes us feel uncomfortable. The questions about a free agent's power to make his own decision about his future? That's a bit more complicated.  We like the excitement of player movement, but we're uncomfortable as a society with empowered athletes taking this much control. There are a number of theories why that is. Maybe it's racial. Maybe it's just that it makes sports seem too corporate, too driven by money, as we continue to cling to the idea that you should love to play and love your team. Maybe it's that it comes off as greedy. But for whatever reason, we're not comfortable with that. Throw it into a nationally televised audience in a whole big production and it's an entirely different thing. Then have the player turn his back on his home state, the city he was drafted into, the team that needed him more than any other. That didn't sit right with us. Some called it wrong. It's hard to go that far when you look at the things people do in this society, what athletes notoriously do in their down time most often. James didn't break a law, he didn't hurt anyone beyond making them cry over sports which is a decision they make to become that emotionally invested. He didn't assault, steal from, or morder anyone. But it struck a nerve, and that never sparked a year's worth of hatred that will continue for the forseeable future. 

The big result of "The Decision?" James created a new storyline, the modern narrative: Everyone Hates LeBron. There should be no pity here, it's what James created, and not only that, he only pushed it further with each dumb thing he said. For a brief time, from after the Boston series through the end of the Chicago series, it looked like he may have figured out how he needed to conduct his behavior, that he needed to be contrite. But then the struggles resumed in Dallas, and he reacted the same way he has throughout his career when criticized. Not with indifference, humility, or even deft resistance, but with outright defiance, seeming every time like a spoiled child who wouldn't admit it when things didn't go his way. "The Decision" revealed him as a character we could indulge in antipathy towards. It gave a reason, to people outside of Washington or those who disliked him because of their loyalty to another great (Kobe or otherwise), or a team rivalry (Boston or otherwise), to genuinely dislike his character. Maybe we needed it. Maybe it's just the way it is. But the year since has shown us something. There's no going back.

James' brilliance in the Eastern Conference Playoffs, performing in the clutch, taking over games, downing both Boston and Chicago, two of the best teams in the league, did nothing to earn James respect from the masses. Instead, most everyone muttered, looked at their shows, and spit vitriol about how the Heat should be that good with that kind of talent, or that it was about time. There's no redemption to be found. The glee in James' failure in the Finals was so nearly visceral that there was almost a parade in every town that wasn't Miami to celebrate him falling on his face. This isn't to say that's wrong. Again, this is what he created, this is the empire he built. It's one that's feared and loathed and hated, but the money is still produced all the same.

"The Decision" changed everything, the NBA, the league's momentum, people's feeling towards LeBron, towards free agency, and players' own sense of their empowerment. Dwight Howard will hold the Magic captive just as Carmelo Anthony held the Nuggets captive just as James held the Cavs captive before slaying them on national television. James' brand has never been stronger. More people tune in to watch him and see what he does than ever. It's just that now, it's not out of love. It's out of the interest in watching him fall.

"The Decision" lasted an hour. The famous words just a few seconds. But this show? Even through a lockout and even through a cathartic victory for the people as the Mavericks' team concept busted the superteam. Through all that, the show will go on.

There's no going back.
 
 
 
 
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