For those who don't know, Bosh plays for the Miami Heat, which just lost the NBA title to the Dallas Mavericks. The final game, win or go home time. And the Heat blew it. Not that it mattered to LeBron James, who sat at the postgame press conference and reminded everyone that he'll wake up the next day and still be rich, as opposed to us plebians.
Not Bosh. Bosh was walking off the court through the stadium corridor as the fan celebration erupted on the court.
And he cried.
The Heat took a lot of abuse for their swagger and bragging at the start of the season. And we've seen time and again that teams that just magically get lucky and make it so far invariably disintegrate the next season as everyone believes THEY were the reason for their team's success. Infighting among the big egos will wreck the Heat, I'll be surprised if they make it to the playoffs next year. LeBron James does not have the talent of Michael Jordan, able to take a team of role players and margin talents and form them around himself into a cohesive unit. James is only looking for himself. It's over.
And that's not only why Bosh was crying, but also why I don't see why everyone is picking on him.
This was it. His best chance to win that title. All the elements were in place, the poison hadn't started to spread through the locker room. And it's over.
People talk about how sports are supposed to be simple competition. But they aren't. The best games are when the outcome actually matters to those playing. I've played some amazing rounds of Mortal Kombat, and all because both me and my opponent wanted to win, we've couldn't both win, so we gave it everything. And whoever lost was pissed. Yeah, we got over it, it's just a game, it's not like it's the end of the world. But it all comes down to passion. To fire. To wanting to be the best. To winning actually mattering. And we all have it in us, no matter how much we deny it.
Bosh, however, wasn't just in some video game tournament with other locals known by name and reputation to the spectators. This was something we ALL have. That moment where you are chasing something. Some goal that, if you achieve it, will define you to yourself as well as others. It makes a whole new identity for you. A whole new life. A whole new YOU.
And you watch helplessly as it falls apart, slips away, or just never happens.
You are stuck in a life absolutely not of your own choosing. And it's even worse when you are giving it everything you've got but those who are supposed to be working with you just aren't as into it and dedicated and maybe, just maybe, had they stepped up and given it everything you did...well, maybe it wouldn't have worked, but you wouldn't have the "if only's" going through your head.
As I've said, it's happened to all of us. That moment where the frustration becomes enormous, when you start doubting yourself for even trying this, facing the fear that you will never ever be better than what you are now, and there's not a goddamn thing you can do about it. Who CAN'T understand that? NOBODY who has had that moment feels anything but sympathy for Bosh right now. And anybody who hasn't had that moment, you can bet spends every moment of the days they try to better themselves in mortal fear that their moment is coming up, bearing down on them like a runaway train.
People complain that athletes care more about their endorsement deals or getting on SportsCenter or whatever more than the game. Here is one guy for whom the game was everything. In that moment, he was a true athlete.
He's one of us, a person who has just had the Golden Door Of Opportunity slammed in his face.
Cut him a break. And if I see him (yeah, right), I'll buy him a drink, me an iced tea, and we'll just sit and think about the world marching by us.