Chris Bosh is ready to begin the Miami Heat's title defense. The Heat big man opened up to the Associated Press this week about recovering from the abdominal injury that derailed for weeks during the 2012 NBA playoffs, and says the injury is firmly behind him.
"I feel good. I feel real good," Bosh said. "I've been pretty eager to get back with training camp looming and everything. I'm real excited to get back, start working. I've been in the gym a few times in the past couple weeks and that itch for basketball is there. I'm glad it's there and I'm looking forward to this season."
The Heat open training camp on Saturday in Miami. They open their season on October 30 with a visit from the rival Boston Celtics.
"I thought it was over," Bosh said of his injury. "I didn't want to fully emotionally invest myself anymore because I didn't want to get hurt like last year when we lost the finals. I kind of had a letdown. I'm not going to lie. I was defeated. And then my wife came to me and said, 'You know, you said things were going to look bad, but you have to keep going.'"
Two years after Bosh joined forces with Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in Miami, the Heat's Big Three have one championship to their names, but want more.
"Winning a championship is only the beginning for this group, and we have to look at it that way," Bosh said. "We have to look at it as we're trying to have a dynasty. I think that's the next thing. The only way you can do that is to have more than one championship. I look at it as a five- to six-year increment, where we're trying to win as many as possible."
The abdominal injury, which Bosh suffered in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Indiana Pacers, kept him on the sidelines for nine games. But in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against Boston, his third game back, Bosh hit a three-pointer late in the game that helped spark a Miami burst that sealed the game, and the series.
"I remember thinking just before that shot, if it hits my hands, I'm shooting it," Bosh said. "I don't really think that one particular shot was a significant moment. There were a lot of significant moments. ... The whole time that game was going on, I just knew we were going to win. I didn't have any doubt in my mind. And every time I touched the ball and I shot the ball in that game, I knew it was going in. That's just how I felt."
Bosh says he is healthy and ready to get back on the court. "It's behind me. But I still have to pay attention to stretching and strengthening all the muscles in the core around it and everything," Bosh said. "It's something that I just can't forget about. I'm not sure if I can re-aggravate it but I'm sure, just like anything, it has the potential to be chronic. If we stay on top of it and continue to do the proper treatment, proper stretching and proper strengthening, I don't see it being an issue."
Miami begins preseason play on October 7 at Atlanta. The Heat's first home preseason game is on October 14, against the LA Clippers.