Chris Bosh: 'Excited for challenge'


Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh said he has "no bitter feelings" toward LeBron James following James' decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

"We're going to be brothers regardless," Bosh told in a phone interview on Saturday. "No bitter feelings, man. It's all love."

On Friday afternoon, Bosh was standing on a basketball court in Ghana 5,000 miles away from Miami when his cell phone buzzed with a text message from James.

After four years together, James informed Bosh and Dwyane Wade separately that the four-time MVP would leave the Heat to return home to the Cavaliers.

James' decision came as a surprise, but Bosh didn't have much time to react while he was working a basketball camp with NBA Africa. Even though the run with James in Miami is over, Bosh won't be holding a grudge against James.

For Bosh, Plan A all along was to return to Miami with James, Wade and Bosh and try to reach the NBA Finals together for a fifth straight time, but with James heading elsewhere, it was on to Plan B. And that didn't take long to take shape.

Moments after receiving James' text, the Heat offered Bosh a maximum contract worth $118 million over five years, something that wasn't on the table at the start of free agency. The Heat had competition. After considering "strong" offers from multiple teams, including the Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers, Bosh ultimately decided to return to the Heat later that night.

"[There were] very enticing offers," Bosh said. "There was some surprising advances made in everything, but I ultimately decided to stay in Miami. I think it was the right choice. I benefit from it, the team will benefit from it, from here. My heart was in Miami. I wanted to be there and keep my family there and build relationships and really keep building on something special."

Bosh, 30, will be under contract with the Heat through the end of the 2018-19 season, when he will be 35 years old.

This was a family decision for James, and it was no different for Bosh, who lives in Miami Beach with his wife and two young children. Bosh strongly considered leaving to take Houston's four-year, $88 million offer to join a championship contender, but, contrary to reports, Bosh insists it was never a Houston-or-Miami proposition.

"We're all making decisions to make ourselves happy and our families happy," Bosh said of his and James' decision. "That doesn't take away what we've done together and the special bond that we created and the special bond that we have and just all the memories that we had together. That will never change. As you move forward, you appreciate those moments and keep going forward."

Going forward, the Heat will build around Bosh, along with new signees Luol Deng, Danny Granger and Josh McRoberts, the latter two Heat president Pat Riley signed before James announced his decision. Deng agreed to terms on a two-year, $20 million contract Sunday that will give him a player option in the second year.

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