So with media day a couple of days ago, we saw the Raptors doing all kinds of things like posing for photos, doing interviews, all the kinds of things that have nothing to do with playing basketball, but things you are obliged to do before the season starts. It was interesting to hear Chris Bosh talk about this season, because if there was ever a guy who sounded guardedly optimistic, it was Bosh.
Some of the things that I liked about Bosh’s interviews the other day were things that we actually criticize him for. He said that he wasn’t going to come out and make any predictions, which some people point to as the usual Chris Bosh not wanting to step up and be a leader. But realistically, I have just about had enough of predictions and I sure as hell don’t want to hear any more guarantees. There have only been two guarantees in sports that I think mean anything. 1. Joe Namath’s guarantee, just because it hadn’t been done on that scale before he did it and then he went out and delivered as an undergod. 2. Mark Messier with the Rangers, just because to do that in a sport like hockey, where one guy cannot typically dominate the game and deliver all by himself, shows the kind of leadership he had…in a huge market…with all eyes on him. So I’m okay with Bosh avoiding any of that garbage, because he doesn’t need any added pressure on him.
I also liked that Bosh talked about not saying that the Raptors were going to go out and TRY to do things, but that they were going to DO them. Taking the wise words of Yoda, Bosh is realizing that “there is no try.” After going through a season like last year’s, Bosh knows you can try all you want, but until you start “doing”, then it really doesn’t matter. Sometimes you have to get yourself in the right mindset about what you are going to do before you get out there on the floor. It’s sort of like before a guy descends down a ski hill in a Super G or before a bobsledder gets ready to plunge down the track. You see them going through the course in their heads, seeing the turns in their minds before heading out there. While we don’t want to see Bosh go all Marbury on us (because I used to support that dude, but now I’m convinced he’s nuts), I like the fact that he is working on his mental game too.
The last thing that I liked about Bosh on media day was that he was talking about hard work. When he said that you always think you work hard until you see somebody else working harder, he hit the nail right on the head. He was referencing seeing Kobe work out after having just won a championship. I can’t believe it took him this long to realize it, but in order to get to that next level, in order to dominate people in your craft, you have to put in serious work. Not just head to the gym for shootaround and do some sprints, you have to do serious workouts to the point where you think you can’t do any more…and when you get to that point, you do some more. I think back to what my dad told me a long time ago when I was heading off to college to play baseball. He said that sometimes you’re going to come up against guys who just have more talent than you, but there’s absolutely no excuse for not working harder than them and then beating them. Kind of the same thing here. Now that Bosh is tuned in, will all of his work pay off? I guess we will see.