And as he stood at the line, with the majority of an incredible audience of more than 100,000 booing, Bosh’s mind was blank.
"Nothing," he said when asked what was going through his mind. "Just make it, take your time and make it, nothing else.
"I like to go blank, it throws your concentration off. You practise them every day, you practice them all the time, I just wanted to get a good shot up."
No thoughts even in the magnitude of that moment?
"No, no, no. I thought about all that stuff when I got fouled. It was, `Oooh, now I have to make it, now I have the ball in my hands.’"
While Miami’s Dwyane Wade was named the game’s MVP, Bosh at least deserved a mention as he continued his breakout season on one of the game’s biggest stages.
"Before I was just kind of shell-shocked and just happy to be here," he said. "Now I’m being competitive, I know that I belong here and I feel like I’m one of the best players here. You have to have that confidence in yourself and I have that."
Playing about 20 miles west from where he was a high school star, Dallas native Chris Bosh looked right at home in the All-Star game Sunday night at Cowboys Stadium.
"It is a really good feeling to be an All-Star year in and year out," said Bosh, who hit two free throws with 5 seconds left to give the East a 141-139 victory. "But to be an All-Star in my hometown, it’s been great for me."
The Toronto star, a five-time All-Star selection, had 23 points and 10 rebounds playing in his favorite football team’s stadium.
He entered the game with 5:44 left in the first quarter. Bosh drove for a dunk 8 seconds later and hit all three of his shots in the first quarter.
Bosh finished things off with two of his more memorable free throws.
"First off, I just wanted to make them," Bosh said. "We got a shot at the end. We all wanted to win the game, obviously."
Although the biggest names of the impending free-agent class are LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, the player involved in the most speculation is Chris Bosh because it’s assumed he’ll leave the Toronto Raptors at the end of the season.
”It doesn’t bother me,” Bosh said of the speculation. ”I think it bothers the people of Toronto more so. I’m just curious as to why. Everywhere I hear, ‘He’s gone, he’s gone,’ and I just want to know why people say that.”
Playing in Canada is a big reason. American players with the Raptors end up paying more in taxes because they pay taxes in both countries.
But Bosh — who’s definitely on the Bulls’ radar — said he hasn’t made any decisions because it’s too early to know what the situation will be this summer.
Mike Higgins, a Las Vegas-based agent who represents Watson, Anthony and Marcus Banks, said he encourages his clients to plan for life after basketball.
"I always counsel them on saving as much as possible," Higgins said. "A lot of guys don’t think long term, but we try to instill that in them."
Higgins said clients might not regard their pension as a important now, but their attitude will be a lot different when checks start arriving in their mailbox.
"It is a big deal for those guys," he said. "You’re talking about guaranteed income that’s pretty substantial, especially the longer you stay in the league."
While Marion will get the maximum pension and Watson, Amundson and Anthony are on the lower fringes, Banks has seven years of pension service. The UNLV and Cimarron-Memorial High product is making $4.5 million this season as a reserve guard with the Toronto Raptors.
"Marcus is probably looking at a pension of somewhere around $100,000 (per year) right now," Higgins said. "These next few years are going to be important to him. Even if in two years he has to take a pay cut, if he can stay in the league and make his max pension, that would be big for him."
In front of a basketball-record crowd of 108,713, Bosh calmly sunk two free throws with five seconds left to give the East a 141-139 victory over the West.
"108,000 people are watching, and it’s a little different kind of setting. I wanted to make it, and I’m glad I did," Bosh said. "I’m glad you asked me that question instead of me missing. I would have had to listen to my friends after this game."
Bosh, playing in front of several friends and family members, finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds in 29 minutes.
Bosh made his first five shots of the first half before missing his last two and had 10 points and six rebounds at the break.
Bosh entered the game in the second half with 5:33 left in the third quarter. A minute later, he took a pass from Cleveland’s LeBron James and dunked. Later in the third quarter, he scored six points in a 1:03 span that concluded with another dunk, this time off a pass from Chicago’s Derrick Rose, that gave the East a 115-104 lead.
Bosh’s three-point play with 4:29 to play gave the East a 133-126 lead. On it, he made a layup and was fouled by the Lakers’ Pau Gasol.
"This has been great for me," Bosh said. "It’s great for the city of Dallas, to be able to showcase this big, great, grand arena."
What really makes the Raptors interesting now is that they are full strength for the first time all season. In fact, with Reggie Evans returning last week after missing the first 51 games with a foot injury, Toronto has another player to fit into the rotation, which is going to make for some difficult playing time decisions by coach Jay Triano.
Considering their abundance of rotation-caliber players, the Raptors would seem like a candidate to perhaps pull off a major trade before Thursday’s deadline. However, if Toronto is thinking of making a deal, general manager Bryan Colangelo is keeping it tightly under wraps.
Ironically, it is Colangelo who has been the subject of rumors as there is speculation he could wind up running the New Jersey Nets once Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov takes control of the sad-sack franchise.
Juan Dixon, the former NBA player and Maryland star who once delivered an anti- steroid message to Congress, believes his positive steroid test while playing overseas resulted from an over-the-counter supplement, his wife said Sunday.
The player "took an over-the-counter supplement and had no idea it had any type of steroid in it. It’s not like he was injecting steroids," Robyn Dixon, his wife, said in an interview with The Baltimore Sun. Juan Dixon has remained in the Spanish city of Malaga and could not immediately be reached for comment.
"Playing seven years in the NBA and not having this issue, you don’t think there’s a problem with any of this stuff that’s sold over the counter," she said.
With the trade deadline on Thursday, the next four days could go a long way toward reshaping the dynamics of the league. The Cavaliers are making decisions not only to give them the opportunity to win a championship this season but to allow them to keep James, the reigning MVP, for the foreseeable future.
The Raptors must decide if they want to gamble by not trading Bosh now and risk letting him slip away for nothing in free agency.
And Wade? He says mostly the right things about wanting to stay in Miami, but also tickles the nervous system with occasional mysterious quips.
Sunday’s game did nothing to quell the speculation.
Chris Bosh can thank Kevin Garnett for a happy homecoming.
On Saturday, Garnett gave East coach Stan Van Gundy some subtle advice.
"He said, ‘Hey, play me the first time out each half. It’s Chris’ hometown, so give him a lot of minutes," Van Gundy said. "So I was glad we were able to do that. I thought it was great."
"Chris played very well," Van Gundy said. "It was obvious not just with his numbers, but with the way he was playing, running up and down the court with great energy, that this day was important for him."
Bosh finished with 23 points, the third-highest total for the East, and also had 10 rebounds and a couple of crowd-pleasing dunks.
Although he didn’t start, he played more than 29 minutes, the most of any player on either team other than LeBron James (32 minutes) and Dwyane Wade (31 minutes).
Making the moment even bigger was the crowd of 108,713, the most ever to watch a basketball game.
"He played extremely hard, so I’m very happy for him," Van Gundy said.
"[Playing in front of] 108,000 people in his hometown, a double-double and the winning points, I thought it was a great day for him."
With so much muscle in the West, Bosh teamed with Pau Gasol might not be the best way to go for the Lakers.
In many ways, the Cavaliers are taking the approach of a desperate, got-to-win now team, still in search of that elusive title to placate LeBron.
The Lakers, by contrast, have rewarded Kobe Bryant with ample championships and have always taken more of a long-view approach.
Remember, Bynum is just 22. There still is room for growth there.
And he is a center, a true, Western Conference center. Bosh is not.
- Weekend’s over and Bosh is still here
- Morning Coffee Feb 16