“Now it’s different. Everybody’s like, ‘We need CB4.’ And I’m like, that’s dead. He’s dead. He’s not coming back. This is me. I can’t hold on to the past and think I’m going to be who I was back then. It’s impossible. Because I’m much better now.”
— Chris Bosh
via The Reinvention of Chris Bosh | ESPN.com
Chris Bosh claims that he’s okay with the transformation he’s undertaken in Miami. CB4 has become CB1, and that’s fine.
So he says. But there was a scene last year, a scene that’s haunted Miami — and Bosh — every day since. And with the Heat in trouble in this year’s Finals, it very well might rear its ugly head once again, as the Heatles approach free agency.
Scene: It’s 2013, and the Miami Heat have just won Game 7 of the NBA Finals on their home-court against the San Antonio Spurs. LeBron James was spectacular, scoring 37 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. Dwyane Wade did his fair share, too, posting his own double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds. But the third cog of the Big Three’s wheel, Chris Bosh, finished scoreless with nearly as many fouls (5) as rebounds (7).
On basketball’s biggest stage, the eight-time All-Star crumbled, and while his teammates left the court jovial as ever, Bosh looked flustered. Something was on his mind.
An hour later, LeBron and Wade are sitting at the podium, answering questions from a sea of reporters. The rest of the Heat have already left the building, getting a head start on the long night of celebration. Meanwhile, Bosh is sitting in the locker room, all by his lonesome. He needs time to gather his thoughts. He gets up to lock the door and returns to his seat. He stares into the corner of the room and takes a deep breath.
Bosh: WHAT DO YOU WANT WITH ME?!
Bosh screams from the deepest depths of his lungs. A silhouette emerges from the dark corner of the room of a large man, almost equal in stature. His hair is longer, nearly down to his shoulders, braided. He’s younger, maybe only 21, and a little scrawnier.
CB4: You brought me here by your own actions, don’t you remember?
Bosh: I beg you, leave me alone.
Bosh’s voice is shaky. He’s scared. He closes his eyes and shakes his head. Something in his mind is haunting him.
CB4: I told you, I cannot leave you — you are me, I am you. Two separate identities, struggling to take control.
Bosh: Cont…control of what?
CB4: The mind, body and soul of man.
Bosh: Which man?
The silhouette is almost clearly visible now. The man stands tall, nearly 7-feet in the air, staring down on Bosh.
CB4: [Aggressively points to chest] THIS MAN!
LeBron and Wade have finished answering questions at this point and they’re on their way to join the rest of the teammates at Story Nightclub. But as they move down the hall, they hear noises coming from the locker room. They stop in their tracks and look at eachother.
Wade: Is that Chris? Who’s he talking to?
LeBron looks at Wade, scared.
They keep their ears peeled for a few seconds and a loud bang let’s them know what’s going on. LeBron and Wade have seen this before. It’s happened a couple of times since they joined forces in 2010, and just like before, they don’t know what to do.
LeBron: Let’s go. Quickly!
The rumors have spread through the Heat’s locker room like wildfire since the Big Three formed. Bosh’s split personality has almost become a myth — nobody has seen it happen, but everyone swears they have heard it happen. They’ve caught him watching game tape of his old self, from his Raptor days, on the bus, but thought nothing of it. For a brief period of time, a picture of himself with his old jersey was plastered on the background of his iPhone, but, again, no harm crossed anyone’s mind. LeBron and Wade even noticed a jar labelled “luscious locks” in his house, once, but they simply thought it was a joke.
All those memories now come rushing back to them and when LeBron and Wade know what’s going on, they waste no time getting away from it. While they all joke about it, nobody knows how to deal with it and, honestly, it scares them.
Bosh is petrified at this point. It has never been this bad before. He usually doesn’t let anyone else see him in this state, but he’s left with no choice. He needs help, and he’s calling out for it.
Bosh: Help me, oh, God, help me!
Luckily for Bosh, Erik Spoelstra is still wondering around the back halls of the arena. He wanted some time to himself, too, although the circumstances are completely different. He hears Bosh’s cry for help and runs to the door without batting an eyelid.
Spoelstra: Ch…Chris, is that you?
Bosh quickly runs to the door and opens it. His blue dress shirt is covered with sweat at this point, and after recognising Spoelstra’s presence, he looks down the hall and sees the same man who is haunting him. He almost immediately turns around and runs back into the locker room, where he is met by him, CB4, again.
Bosh: Go away! Please! Leave me alone!
Bosh has an epiphany. Remembering what the man said about controlling the mind, body and soul of man. He relays those words in his head. “Mind. Body. Soul. Mind Body Soul.” He thinks he’s figured it out, how to get rid of him.
CB4: Give yourself to me, Bosh. Surrender your soul, to me. Forever.
Spoelstra interjects. To him, he sees nothing but Bosh in the corner of the room by himself, crouching down with his hands on his head. He’s confused, shocked and scared. He wants to help but doesn’t know what to do.
Spoelstra: Chris? What’s going on?
Bosh: He’s…[Bosh points in-front of him] He’s devouring me. At first I was the strong, but bit by bit, he grows inside of me. A parasite. Soon, I won’t…I won’t exist.