Chris Bosh took questions at shootaround on Saturday morning at AmericanAirlines Arena. Much of the discussion revolved around Bosh's facing his former team, the Toronto Raptors, for the first time as a member of the Miami Heat. Here are some of the more memorable excerpts from the conversation:
On whether tonight's game between the Heat and Raps is like any other game and whether he wants this one more:
Most definitely. For one, you don't want to get beat by your old team because they'll one-up you. [Former college and NBA teammate and roommate] Jarrett [Jack] is not shy about giving his opinion on games and performances. I know everybody back in Toronto is going to be watching, so I want it to be a good game. But at the same time, we want to win every game.
On what over the first 10 games of the season has caught him by surprise:
The attention, the microscope that we're under, opinions. I didn't know there were so many opinionated people ... You go through all kinds of emotions ... Sometimes, you'll be confused as to why people would say "that," or why people jump to conclusions after nine games in the season. It angers you sometimes ... At the end of the day you just have to block it out. We're learning to block it out and just use it as motivation, because when we're between the lines, we know what we do is not easy ... I mean, people wrote of the Lakers and the Celtics at one time. Everybody has to go through it. I guess we can take it as a rite of passage or something.
On whether there's been anything said that's really hurt him or caused him to have regrets:
I would say my having to call Toronto every month and saying "Uhhh ... That didn't happen. I didn't say that. That didn't mean that." That's kind of frustrating at times because at no time to I want to be made an enemy of any sort. If you move on and make a business decision, you move on. I mean, it's no bigger or no smaller. I can understand why people wouldn't want to see me go, but what's done is done. I don't want people to say anything bad about me. I don't think I did anything to make anyone feel angry.
On whether he's surprised by the reaction of some Toronto fans given how other high-profile departures were received:
I wouldn't be entirely surprised, but at the same time you do take it personally sometimes. People would ask me, "You know if you leave, they're gonna boo you!" That was like the first thing people say. That was always something to think about. We have to wait until February to see how the reaction is going to be.
On why he and the Heat haven't hidden from the outside criticism:
You live with it. I can say, "Don't pay attention to it," but you're aware of what's going on. The world keeps spinning. We don't live in a cave or under any rocks. If you turn on the TV or you look on the internet, you're going to see people tell you. My family tells me, "Hey, you see this article they wrote about you, Man? Look!" They read it to you. "They're saying uhhhh!" There's no hiding from it. And just acknowledging the fact that we're aware of it, I think, for one, is healthy for us because it's not like, "What do you mean? We're not aware of what's going on." I think you become a little crazy when you do that. I mean, we know what's going on. We know what's said, but we don't let that affect us.