Chris Bosh: 'Excited for challenge'

Bosh ended up choosing family and familiarity. He'll have a much greater role offensively, a challenge he believes he's ready for after playing mostly outside of the spotlight the past four seasons.

Did Bosh miss being the alpha dog?

"I think sometimes you miss it," Bosh said. "You wonder if you can still do it and step up to the challenge. I haven't had to be that guy. I played with the best player in the world. I didn't have to be the alpha. But now, I get to see if I have it in me, and not many people are going to believe I have what's necessary. But that's what makes it exciting.

"You know, I'm not the same player that I was when I was 25, the last time I got to [be the No. 1 option]. I'm more mature, my game is more mature and I can do a bunch of things on and off the court to fully maximize this team's potential."

Bosh isn't lacking for confidence these days after receiving a max deal from the Heat. He insists he'll be playing with a chip on his shoulder, to disprove the doubters who say he can't lead a winning team as a No. 1 option.

When asked about who'd win a possible Cavs-Heat matchup on opening night, Bosh left no doubt where his head is at.

"Of course, we're going to win it," Bosh said. "And let me tell you something, nothing's going to change. If anything, I'm going to have a bigger chip on my shoulder. Maybe people in Miami really don't know that side of me, but I want something more than just to compete. I believe in our ability, no matter who I'm playing with. You ask me 10 times, 10 times I'll say yes."

It's a monster deal for Bosh. His max deal for $118 million will almost eclipse his total NBA earnings to date of $123 million.

Bosh says his belief in the Heat organization begins at the very top, and he's ready for the road ahead.

"Micky Arison is a fantastic owner and a great leader, and we've always had a special relationship," Bosh said. "He stepped up to the plate, and that means a lot. Those guys believed in me. They stepped up to the plate, and I'm going to do the same for them."

Bosh plans to stay in Ghana for a few days before returning home to Miami at the end of the month. One thing he wants to clear up: Toronto Bosh is long gone, and that's not a necessarily a bad thing.

"CB4 is never coming back," Bosh said, referring to his nickname as a Raptor. "A few years later, I think I'm a much better player. It's funny, even all the way over here in Africa, people are telling me, 'We need CB4 back.' I can't be that. That's impossible."

"But I feel I'm a much better leader and a much better player, and I'm much more prepared for the role, the all-around role, that they need me to fill. That's exciting for me to really challenge myself and step up to the plate next year and make sure we get it done, no matter what happens."

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