Q&A: Chris Bosh

Courtesy of the NBPA

NBPA: How’s your overall summer been going?

Chris Bosh: Really I’ve just been enjoying the summer. I’ve just been enjoying the little subtle things—time with family, really getting into a routine with my family that’s something as an NBA player we don’t have the luxury of having. It’s always hurry up and wait and we’ve got to go. But I’ve been watching my kids develop just being around them, being around my wife.

We’ve got little babies, and these are our last babies, so we’re enjoying them. I love babies, especially the smell of babies. I think I’ll definitely babysit when my kids get older. Like when they start stinking after playing outside for two hours and that sweet smell is gone, that’s when I’ll start picking up other babies [laughs].

NBPA: How are the baby twins doing?

CB: They were born on March 15, and it’s been great just being around them. We have really just a madhouse here. I’ve got five children and that plus business plus basketball, that’s my day. I try to fit sleep in [laughs].

NBPA: Why do you enjoy being in LA every summer?

CB: I love Miami, great town, always loved it, a great place to play basketball. But it gets really hot in the summertime and you can get stuck in the same routine. And I like the change of pace, just to go from grinding out the season and enjoying the weather, to right when that weather turns we’re on the west coast. It’s like no humidity, slightly chilly when we first get here for the summer, and it’s just different.

It’s beautiful out here. LA has the beaches, the valleys, the mountains, the canyons, the desert. It’s got a lot of cool different things to look at. And really just the energy that’s out here makes it a super exciting town to really shake and move, and do other things that I’m interested in off the court.

NBPA: You mentioned the scenic spots, and I know you’re a big globetrotter and have gone on safari in South Africa. Do you bike or hike around those outdoor areas in LA?

CB: I don’t bike, but I will hike with a trail that’s reasonable. I’m not much of a hiker. I don’t try to go for the advanced or even the intermediate course. I go straight beginner [laughs]. We can work the quads a little bit—that’s cool—and call it a day. I just like to enjoy the view. But we’ve been to a few trails out there and that’s one cool thing that you can do. There’s also dozens of canyons out here that you can visit and hike, and get different views and just think up there.

NBPA: What are your favorite canyons?

CB: I love going through Malibu Canyon usually. The drive is beautiful with great views pretty much the whole way. You get a great view of the valley and great mountain views, too, so it’s very cool to see everything in one drive.

NBPA: What new places have you ventured to this summer?

CB: We didn’t go too crazy. The only place that we went to that was new was Nashville [laughs]. We went to the Bonnaroo music festival and just had a really good time out there. We went to Monaco and St. Tropez. I met Lewis Hamilton in Monacao, which was a good time. In St. Tropez, we went to meet Gabrielle [Union] and Dwyane [Wade]. We did a couples vacation. It was a lot of fun.

We wanted to go to more places, but with five children things have gotten more complicated. We did a family vacation to Hawaii for like four days, which was really cool. It’s interesting traveling with that many kids. We have an entourage [laughs]. My youngest friends have their young friends. When I was young, I had my friends, my boys. Now I’ve got nannies and grandpas and grandmas.

NBPA: What continues to be special about your friendship with D-Wade that goes beyond basketball?

CB: We’ve always enjoyed each other’s company. To have a guy that you’ve played with and a neighbor at the same time is a really cool thing, especially when it’s your peer and you can talk about things outside of basketball. We’re both married family men trying to navigate the world, and to be able to connect on those real-life things is a special thing. Plus, D is just a cool, down-to-earth guy. He loves having a good time, has a lot of valuable experience and has great stories.

NBPA: Balancing your big family with business and basketball, what’s a typical day like for you in LA?

CB: There’s a bunch of different daily routines when things pick up training-wise. A routine day is I get up pretty early in the morning. I try to get done with my workout, which is on court and weights—or it might be the pool or the track—by usually 2 o’clock. Then I have lunch or with my kids if they don’t go to summer camps. If they’re home, they like to play and run around. Then I head back out, and usually when I come back it’s about 5 or 6 o’clock.

That’s when things kind of start winding down, but not really. We’ve got five kids under eight, so it’s a madhouse. So they’ll watch movies or if they still want to play, we’ll play. I have a man cave with a bunch of instruments in it, so they’ll come in there and they’ll ask me, “What is this? What is this?” And I describe the instruments to them.

NBPA: You recently picked up guitar. What’s that been like to learn?

CB: I’ve been getting into music quite a bit. It’s been both therapeutic and a challenge. Playing an instrument is always something that I wanted to learn. So just doing this has been a cool process because I remember when I couldn’t do anything when I wasn’t playing last year, and now I can do this. So it’s a reinforcement that, “If you really want to do something, you can really learn it.” And I’ve just been continuing to get better at that.

NBPA: On Instagram, you recently posted a video of yourself on the electric guitar while wearing a Rolling Stones T-shirt. Is rock your main playing interest?

CB: It’s bluesy rock—not too much Lynyrd Skynyrd, but kind of like when Jimi Hendrix was playing the blues. That’s super cool to me just because I grew up on blues music. My dad played it on the radio quite a bit—guys like Freddie King, B.B. King, other guitar players like George Benson. [Benson] never played the blues, but he’s a guitar player my dad listened to quite a bit.

Now I’m studying music and trying to learn these guys, and I kind of have the ear for it because I’ve been listening to it all my life. The rock part is like my twist on it. I like the old school blues for sure—the smokey back room blues. I also like the guitar with the pedals and the distortions.

NBPA: Could you see yourself taking music more seriously beyond basketball, or it’s more just a hobby?

CB: I just do it for fun. But I know I’ll be doing this for the rest of my life, so it’s pretty much just what I want to do with it. It’s interesting because people always say, “It’s too late to learn.” Of course, it’s the kids that take right to it. When you think about it, how is it possible that a five-year-old can learn guitar faster than a 30-year-old? So I’ve just been toying with that and just saying, “What can I learn?” I’m going to just start picking whatever I want to do, and do it.

NBPA: What’s your music collection like in your man cave?

CB: I’ve got guitars, I’ve got drum sets, I’ve got electric drums, I’ve got microphones. I’ve got all kinds of stuff.

NBPA: With your wife, Adrienne, and your five kids, you could start your own band.

CB: Oh yeah, for sure. The kids love to go in the man cave.

NBPA: Along with Adrienne, you’ve also been posting different food photos, and you write about your love for cooking on your website. Is that something else that’s been helping you pass the time being away from basketball?

CB: Oh yeah, cooking is just to the point of repetition now. I’m always learning, but I know how to cook. I started learning it about four years ago, and I have a chef, [Terrance Williams]. It’s pretty cool, but then I was thinking, “What if I can’t always have a chef here? Would it be a shame if I didn’t learn how to cook something, so we can survive?” [laughs]. It was just a hypothetical situation that ran through my head and I said, “I’ll learn how to cook,” and that was a few years ago.

NBPA: With being a global jetsetter, do you like to bring back recipes from your travels?

CB: Yeah, for sure. I don’t try to create any dishes or sneak anything in them. Like when I went to Morocco [in 2013], I’m now aware of tajine. It’s a way to prepare chicken, fish, pork, whatever. It’s just being open to say to my family, “This is what I’m going to cook for you guys today, or hey, Terrance, can you make some tajine?” It’s just another dish that people generally wouldn’t think of unless you’re really into the culture and just happen to be in Morocco. It’s just being open to trying stuff like that, and then taking it back home and exposing my friends and family to it.

NBPA: Overall, what are your go-to dishes?

CB: I love cooking baked chicken for dinner usually. I like it because there are a lot of different ways to make it by adding different vegetables and herbs with it. So you can make it to your particular taste that day.

NBPA: It must also be enjoyable for you to cook with having such a big, close family. Do your kids like to have fun in the kitchen with you, making treats and helping prepare different things?

CB: Oh yeah, it’s really cool. They love making cupcakes, which is kind of funny because they do it more in Miami. I guess because the kitchen is closer to the front door. But they’ll come in and they’ll have an idea of something they want to make, or they just come in and ask, “Hey, can I help?” So I’ll give them an easy task, like they have to measure out the flour or the egg, or put the mix in, have them mix it, have them pour their own cupcakes. My kids are independent, so they’ll do it themselves.

NBPA: Is it also an exciting time for you with back to school? What’s it like getting them ready for classes?

CB: My oldest, [Trinity, 7,] is in the second grade. She started already. She’s more aware of school. My son and my daughter are, too, but you have to remind them, like, “Hey, remember school? You’re going to school.” You just don’t want to take them to school and they might not like that. So we prep them by talking about it. My oldest is more aware of time and when school is coming up. So she’s really just talking about it and how excited she is, and asking me if I think the second grade is going to be different than the first. It’s regular first-day-of-school jitters.

NBPA: In a post on your website, you wrote “technology truly fascinates me.” In the past, you’ve learned HTML computer language and even wrote an op-ed for Wired.com to promote coding as the language of the future. What’s new with you on the tech side?

CB: I’ve always loved learning and technology has always been a huge interest of mine. I’ve been always looking into technology and keeping up. But it’s a complicated marketplace, so you’ve got to really know it before you get into anything. One cool project that I’ve been working on is just recording this process that I’ve been going through—really just what happened. And when I say record, I mean writing journal entries.

I’ve also been recording me playing the guitar, just trying to make music. I’ve been doing some cool things and I’m just really trying to figure out how I can tie all those things in together, and just look at it and make it cool. That’s just been my thing—record, record, record.

NBPA: Have you thought about what you might do with the videos or journals?

CB: I was talking with a friend of mine, [Levi Maestro], who I’ve been working together with since 2011. We’ve done a lot of videos before. I was already writing in my journal and he suggested, “Why don’t you do your own thing and try to see what comes out?” So I’ve been filming for months now. I’ve been recording with my camera. I’m using a regular Handycam. They have those nice 4K cams now; great quality.

So that’s been, I would say, the most interesting thing for me this summer. I said, “Let me just see what really comes out of this, because I think I have an interesting story.” All I can do is tell it and maybe somebody can relate to it.

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