Like everyone else, Chris Bosh has been trying to navigate his way through 2020 and his new normal The two-time NBA champion recently launched a newsletter called “The Last Chip” and been busy working on producing music while spending a lot more time at home with his wife and kids.
“We’re learning how to sit down together at the table and eat,” he says, laughing. “Not that we never did that before, but now it’s like, hey, it’s another Saturday, we’re going to have another barbeque.”
Since the pandemic has disrupted all of our day-to-day lives, Bosh admits it’s been a lot of shorts, sweatpants, and joggers this year. Recently, he’s tried to start dressing again.
“I’m back to putting on some pants, trousers, khakis, maybe even a collar shirt,” Bosh says. “That’s one of the biggest things right now. Even if I’m not going anywhere, just putting on clothes, getting dressed for the day, it puts you in a different mood.”
The return of NBA also brightened up Bosh’s mood. Before Game 5 of the NBA Finals, we caught up with him to chat about the NBA bubble, his favorite Udonis Haslem memory, who he thinks LeBron James's best teammate is, how a Rolling Stones performance got him into producing music, and more.
(This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.)
How do you think you would have done being in the NBA bubble for three months?
I was asking my wife the same question, and talked about what we would be doing if I was playing. She said, ‘Hey, we would be behind you if you wanted to go.” I don’t know how I would have handled it. It definitely would have been a challenge, I think that goes without saying. It’s funny because my kids see the court on TV and it says Disney World and I’m like, nah, that’s the bubble at Disney World, that’s not Disney World.
What has it been like watching your former team, the Miami Heat, playing in the NBA Finals?
It’s been great watching them play, man. Just to see that, hey, don’t forget the Miami Heat are a championship organization. When Jimmy Butler came here and signed with them, I was like, that’s a good signing. I’m sure even Jimmy was looking around like does nobody want to go to Miami because you guys are crazy. He’s always been super positive about winning and working hard. I think it’s been great for people to see what this team is doing. And I think for the guys, going through this, seeing what they’re capable of doing, it’s going to give them a lot of confidence going forward.
"You know who I’m going to choose. It’s Dwyane Wade for me, because Dwyane said, LeBron, you need to be the guy, you’re the No. 1 option, and I’ll figure everything out, you just go ahead and be comfortable being who you are."
We’ve seen Udonis Haslem give a few speeches during timeout breaks during the playoffs. Do you remember a speech he had to give when you were with the Heat?
He didn’t have to give too many of them, if any. I think he might have maybe one or two times. But there was a thing with me and him, where we were always super competitive in terms of what we could do to help the team. We had a thing where we wouldn’t help the other team up. If they were on the floor, we always say we’d let their teammates help them up. It was just to send a message. And we’d do it with respect. It wasn’t like we would step over them or anything crazy, but if you get knocked down, that’s your teammate’s job. I remember during a playoff game, I made a mistake of helping someone up, and UD beelined straight towards me. He was like, “Hey, CB, CB, hey, hey, nah man, nah, don’t do it.” You could tell he wanted to yell at me, but he didn’t [laughs]. As soon as I saw him coming for me, I was like, man, I already know what he’s going to say to me. That’s the thing about UD that is so consistent, he was always big about accountability and professionalism.
Watching LeBron in the Finals, what has changed about his game compared to when you guys were together in Miami?
He’s more patient. I think he knows that he doesn’t have to carry the load. With us, it was pretty much like, he was a facilitator, but sometimes we were just like, hey, you go, because he was just so good. We were in our 20s then. Now, he’s better at picking and choosing his spots during a game on when he’s going to be aggressive. He’s also done a great job of saying Anthony Davis, you be yourself, you shoot all the shots. I’ve never seen him do that with another player. He’s aware of where he is in his career and I’m sure he’s going to continue to refine his game and get better and better at it.
There’s been a lot of chatter about whether Anthony Davis is the best teammate LeBron has ever had. Where do you stand on that?
Do they complement each other? Hell yeah, they do. Has LeBron always had that No. 2 guy? Every time he’s won, yeah he has. But as far as ranking teammates, it’s tough to rank. You know who I’m going to choose. It’s Dwyane Wade for me, because Dwyane said, LeBron, you need to be the guy, you’re the No. 1 option, and I’ll figure everything out, you just go ahead and be comfortable being who you are. On top of that, just the effect they had on the game, I’ve never seen anybody do what they did. The steals. The lobs. The dunks. You could play highlights of those two forever. That stuff is classic. I haven’t seen anything like that before or after. As far as I’m concerned, that’s how I feel. Dwyane was a great complement to him. Just cue the highlights.
There are also some people who want to put an asterisk on this year’s champion. How would you feel if you were on the Lakers, and that’s what people were talking about while you’re one win away from the title?
It would piss me off. It’s weird. I don’t know why they want to put an asterisk on it. It’s like they're playing Euro teams, or playing a whole different league. No. It’s the same league, same players, and training camp was like, over a year ago. Can you imagine? You’re telling me it takes longer than any other season, and you’ve gotta go away, and you’re not playing in Staples Center, you don’t get any of the joy of seeing everybody there, of seeing Jack Nicholson at the games, and you’re in the NBA Finals and missing that atmosphere. In my opinion, it’s probably one of the hardest championships to win in history. An NBA championship is an NBA championship.
You’ve been getting into producing music since retiring from basketball. A lot of times when NBA players get into music, they’re usually the front facing guy on the mic. Why did you decide to get into producing music instead?
The first time I had blood clots, I didn’t know what else to do. I had to rest and recuperate, and basketball was the furthest thing on my mind. For the first time, I started thinking, well, what else am I going to do. I thought, I’m never going to have this much time again, how ironic is that, and I should probably find that other thing. Next thing you know, I had a guitar in my hand, and I’m learning the guitar and I said, if I just don’t put it down, I can learn it. I had an epiphany because I was watching something on TV, and the Rolling Stones, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, were on stage playing in front of a big sold-out stadium, having a great time. I was like, okay, yeah, I want to make music. It started with the guitar, and it just went from there, and right now it’s producing music.
How much of learning to produce music is self taught for you and how much of it is reaching out to mentors in the industry?
It’s a mix of both. There’s self learning in anything that you do. You have to figure things out on your own. You have to do the work and be curious enough. I also have a lot of mentors. I’ve been pretty aggressive about befriending certain guys, like Rico Love, who has helped me tremendously through conversation and allowed me to work with him. There’s my buddy Max Frost, and S1, who I got to meet at one of his conferences. Also Usher, Miguel, and Childish Gambino. Just being around them, you pick up so much.
You produced a song for an artist named Deezie Brown recently called “I Want It All.” How did that connection come about?
That was one of those inescapable things about producing music. You have to build a relationship. You have to build a sound, a style, and all that stuff, and you also have to have that other person, like a partner in crime. Dr. Dre had Snoop and Eminem. Your favorite producer always had that artist they worked with. I listened to Deezie’s music, and I really liked it. So I hit him up and was like, yo man, I know this is crazy, I know this sounds weird, but I’ve been producing music. We hung out a few times and it’s been two years since, and we’ve just been building and making songs.
This sounds like more than just a hobby. You’re really passionate about it.
Yeah. I’m a big reader, and in the early part of my career, I read a lot of self-help books, those good motivational books, and within most of those books, the message was “do what you love.” My dad told me that too, he said, hey man, you want to do something you love, you don’t want to have a job you hate because that’s the worst thing in the world. In the quest of finding out about other things, and picking up a guitar and having the courage, I said I’m going to go for this thing. I also had to have the courage to tell myself at first that I wasn’t very good at it [laughs]. That went into my decision making where I said, man, I love music, I think I would love making it, and I want to go down this route. I love doing it. I’m never going to stop.
Lastly, putting you on the spot, who is your Mount Rushmore of music producers?
Timbaland, for sure. Kanye. Mike Dean. And man, the fourth one is tough. I’m gonna put Puff Daddy there. I know he’s a mogul, a president, and everything else, but producing was definitely one of the things he was also doing. Between him and Timbaland, that was my childhood right there.