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Miami Heat forward-center Chris Bosh clarified before his team’s preseason game against his former teammate LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in Rio De Janeiro last week he has “no hard feelings” toward James.
Bosh told ESPN’s Brian Windhorst on Oct. 9 — two days before the Heat faced off against James’ Cleveland Cavaliers in Rio De Janeiro — that there are “no hard feelings” between him and the four-time NBA MVP:
“Chris Bosh has effectively ended communication with former teammate LeBron James, but Bosh doesnt’ think that fact should surprise anyone.
“Bosh surprised some when he said he hadn’t spoken with James since he left to sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers in July. But he doesn’t understand the surprise.
“‘There’s no hard feelings or anything,’ Bosh said after the Miami Heat practiced Thursday in advance of their preseason game against the Cavs on Saturday. ‘If we’re both trying to win, he’s against us, and that’s a matter of fact.’
“This isn’t personal, Bosh said, and he reinforced it by recalling a gift he and his wife, Adrienne, recently sent James.
“‘He had a baby shower, and we sent him a gift for his daughter,’ Bosh said. ‘Then training camp started, and that was about it.’
“Clarifying comments he made Tuesday, Bosh said he did speak with James briefly at Dwyane Wade’s wedding Aug. 30.
“‘My time is backwards and everything, but we talked,’ Bosh said. ‘I want people to understand I’m a competitor, and he’s on the other team. I think he’d understand that, and I understand that, and that’s how it is now.’
“For his part, James tried to downplay the emotions that many are expecting from him when he sees his former teammates.
“‘It’s going to be special to see those guys on Saturday,’ he acknowledged. ‘But both teams are here to work. I’ll acknowledge those guys for sure, I’m still cool with all of those guys. It’s really not a story, it’s what people make it. I just made a decision like a lot of people made decisions this summer.'”
Bosh also chimed in on one of James’ new sidekicks in Cleveland, Kevin Love, in an Oct. 9 interview with Bleacher Report’s Ethan Skolnick. Bosh offered his thoughts on Love becoming a second or third option on the team — a step down from his do-it-all role with the Minnesota Timberwolves in seasons past:
“On these topics, Bosh was uniquely qualified to answer, having gone from first option in Toronto to third choice for four years in Miami, to, now, first option in Miami.
“‘Yeah, it’s a lot more difficult taking a step back, because you’re used to doing something a certain way and getting looks a certain way,’ Bosh told Bleacher Report recently. ‘And then it’s like, well, no, for the benefit of the team, you have to get it here.
“‘So even if you do like the left block, the volume of the left block is going to be different. Now you have to make those moves count. So with me, it was like a chess game. I’m doing this move and thinking about the next move and trying to stay five moves ahead. You’re not getting it as much. If you got one or two a game, it’s a lot different.’
“You don’t get your pick of the buffet.
“‘Exactly,’ Bosh said. ‘You just get your entree and that’s it. It’s like, wait a minute, I need my appetizer and my dessert and my drink, what are you doing? And my bread basket. What is going on? I’m hungry! It’s a lot different. But if you can get through it, good things can happen. But it never gets easy. Even up until my last year of doing it, it never gets easier.’
“Nor does the constant din of hearing from family, friends and media about why you aren’t doing everything you once did.
“‘Exactly,’ Bosh said. ‘You’ve got to do this! You’ve got do do that! So you’ve got to fight that. ‘Why don’t you do this? Well, you should do this! It’s like, man, they don’t need me to do that, I know what I’m doing. ‘Well, you should do this.’ And then eventually, on one of those days, all it takes is one time, well, maybe I should be doing this. And then eventually, on one of those days, all it takes is one time, well, maybe I should be doing this. It’s such a psychological battle.'”
Bosh also says Love’s situation will be “very difficult,” per Skolnick.
“It’s going to be very difficult for him. Even if I was in his corner and I was able to tell him what to expect and what to do, it still doesn’t make any difference. You still have to go through things, you still have to figure out things on your own. It’s extremely difficult and extremely frustrating. He’s going to have to deal with that.'”