The Reinvention of Chris Bosh

Bosh brings up another 20-and-10 guy, LaMarcus Aldridge. Both Texas-grown basketball prodigies with similar reserved personalities, Bosh considers the 28-year-old Aldridge a good friend.

"I've wanted him for years, just straight up," Bosh says. "But I haven't gotten it yet. Because, you know, they have him conserving his energy for offense."

Bosh didn't dream of these defensive challenges in Toronto. Still, he understands that Miami affords him little opportunity to go at guys. He has lowered his expectations.

"I let LeBron and Dwyane do that because they have mismatches," Bosh says. "I don't really have mismatches too much. And I'm not going to back you down for two points. That's CB4. That's a long time ago.

"It's turned into something else down here. Playing with LeBron and Dwyane, I'm like, all right, I'm going to have to fall back a little bit. And I'm going to be OK with it. All this bulls--- people talking. 'Oh, he's this and this.' Man, I'm the third scorer. I'm the third option. There's only so many points you can score. I'm going to be 16, 17 and 18 points at the most. And that's like, 'Whoa boy, he's putting it in the hole.'

"Put yourself in my shoes," Bosh says. "But people aren't going to empathize. You won't understand."

HOW WILL THE JOURNEY END?

The Heat are in the midst of a fourth straight NBA Finals, with a chance to go on a third straight championship parade, but some can't help looking ahead.

They want to know if this is the last hurrah for the Big Three, whether the team will be broken up after the season. James, Wade and Bosh can all be free agents this summer if they opt out of the contracts they signed with the team four years ago.

James has remained mum, but Bosh has openly talked about staying put, even if it means taking a pay cut. Wade recently told ESPN.com's Michael Wallace that he doesn't feel obligated to do the same. "It's the job of others around to figure out how to make it work. If I want to be a part of that, then I'll be a part of that. But if I don't, I won't," Wade said.

Bosh is at home in Miami. He never thought he'd live here, much less as a married man.

"You don't beat this," Bosh says. "Everywhere you go is what you make it. Ah, 'Miami is so fake,' people say. Man, everywhere is fake. Any big city you live in is fake. I live on South Beach. Everywhere you go in the world, they say, 'Oh, Miami? I want to go there.' I feel lucky being here."

And that's where he says his focus remains.

"We can't think about this summer," Bosh says. "We've been there before in 2010. What, we're going to think about it again? What's there to think about? Where we're going to go? I'm not doing that again. I've been there."

This regular season has been a long, exhausting one for the Heat. Four straight years of playing into June has taken its toll.

"It's hard," Bosh says. "Just to have to get back on track to do the same thing again for the fourth time. You know what's ahead. You know it's a hell of a mountain to climb. It's like, man, I don't want to do this, not yet. Your body is telling you that you can't do it. You have every reason not to do it. That's what makes it really tough. There's a reason why not many teams have three-peated, let alone won a championship. It's really hard."

Bosh takes another sip of his Abita.

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