Oct. 25, 2010
By Jon Cooper
Chris Bosh didn’t stay long at Georgia Tech, but made a huge impact in the time he was there.
During his one season (2002-03), the Dallas, Texas, native shot a conference-high 56.0 percent, becoming only the second freshman to lead the ACC in field goal percentage (North Carolina’s Antawn Jamison is the other, in 1996) and the second Yellow Jacket to do so (John Salley, in 1985). He also led the conference with 2.16 blocks per game and was second with 9.0 rebounds per game. His 15.6 points per game ranked 15th overall.
Bosh was named ACC Rookie of the Year (Tech’s 10th), second-team All-ACC and a member of the ACC All-Defensive Team. He helped Tech to a 16-15 record and got them to within one game of the final four of the N.I.T. He left as an early-entry candidate for the NBA Draft, where he was selected fourth overall by the Toronto Raptors.
A five-time NBA All-Star, and member of the NBA All-Rookie Team in 2003-04, Bosh was the third leg of this off-season’s free-agent triumvirate signed by the Heat, joining Dwyane Wade and LeBron James.
Sting Daily caught up with Bosh during the Heat’s recent stop in Atlanta for an exhibition game with the Hawks. He talked about what was during his season at Georgia Tech, what might have been had he stayed one more year, and what might be for recent Tech one-and-done center Derrick Favors.
STING DAILY: How does it feel to be back in Atlanta?
Chris Bosh: I’m always happy to be back in Atlanta. I came here during the summer and got to look around the campus and everything, take a trip down memory lane. It was cool.
SD: How closely do you follow the Yellow Jackets?
BOSH: I follow them a little bit. Being in Toronto, it was different media coverage. It was a little bit more difficult than it is now. TV is different. But this year I plan on getting the NCAA package, so I’ll watch any time I have time to actually catch a game. I never watched them on TV one time. I didn’t have a chance because they didn’t show that stuff up there.
SD: What are your thoughts on former Tech center and first-round draft pick Derrick Favors?
BOSH: I haven’t seen New Jersey yet but from what I hear, he’s a fantastic player. He has a huge upside. He’s competition now, so I’m going to have to prepare for him right away. We’re going to have some games. We’re going to have to introduce him to the League properly. But as far as he’s concerned, I think he’s a fantastic player. You can’t NOT be a good player and get picked third. So I think that just speaks of how highly the Nets think about him and really what kind of a player he is.
SD: You won’t be cutting him any slack as a fellow Tech alum?
BOSH: That makes it worse (laughs).
SD: What is your best memory of your one season on The Flats?
BOSH: Just kickin’ it in the dorms. I miss those days. It was kind of short-lived for me. Kind of having that semi-responsibility of being an adult but really in a controlled environment. We had our dorms. It was four of us in an apartment and it was a lot of fun. We had some good times.
SD: The year after you left the Yellow Jackets reached the Final game of the NCAA Tournament. Do you ever wonder what might have happened had you stayed to battle Emeka Okafor and UConn in the finale?
BOSH: They had to be 100 percent against UConn to even have a chance, and, obviously, they weren’t. I think B.J. [Elder] and Isma’il [Muhammad] were hurt. But I always wonder that. I went to the game. It was kind of bittersweet for me because I was happy for them but [the Raptors] weren’t having such a good season, so it was tough. But I was glad that they were winning and having fun.
SD: Do you still have a relationship with Coach Hewitt?
BOSH: I stay in touch with Coach Hewitt. I know he’s busy right now. I know they just started practicing, but we try to talk when we can. He knows basketball. He knows good talent and he’s really big on respect and being young men. He teaches you about stuff off the court as well as on the court. I think that was one of the things that attracted me the most to Tech. He was very adamant about being in class and doing what you’re supposed to do.
SD: Are you happy in Miami?
BOSH: I’m always a happy guy (laughs).
SD: Is playing with LeBron and D-Wade what you hoped it would be?
BOSH: Yeah. It’s a lot of fun. We always have a lot to talk about. Those are two great guys. The whole team is great. We work hard and when it comes time to play basketball I know that we’re going to win and we’re going to have fun but we’re going to work hard at the same time. It’s a work in progress and it’s a very, very long season. So as long as we don’t get too ahead of ourselves or too down because of what might happen, we’ll be good.
SD: Do you have any kind of Internet promotional campaign for this year’s All-Star Game in the works?
BOSH: (laughs) No sir. That was a one-and-done thing for me.