Bosh: MVP or bust

MIKE GANTER, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:50 AM ET

Chris Bosh has a secret he has been keeping from his fans.

He wants to be the league MVP. Not in three seasons. Not next season. This season.

When he revealed this before three or four cameras and as many notepads and microphones following yesterday's morning practice, no one was 100% sure he was being completely serious.

Bosh made himself perfectly clear when he answered the follow up "Realistic?" query with his best, "Do I look like I'm kidding?" stare.

"Very realistic. I wouldn't talk about it if it wasn't real," he said.

According to Bosh, he first starting thinking seriously about this goal in the pre- season.

He was healthy, coming off a strong Olympics in which he played a prominent role on the U.S. gold-medal team and his confidence was at an all-time high.

He had spent the better part of the summer playing along side most of the other potential MVPs -- LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Chris Paul, Dwyane Wade and good friend Dwight Howard were all there with him in Beijing. He knows what he's up against and he believes he's up to the challenge.

"I want to get it. Plain and simple," Bosh said. "That's really where I'm at right now. Every game I'm trying to be an MVP-calibre player. I've been sharing that with my family, I haven't shared it with you guys yet but now you know -- but I came into this season saying I'm going to give it a shot. I think I can get it. We need more wins of course but when I think of MVPs in the past I think of consistency. Every night they put it out there on the floor and when they need it, they put their teams on their backs. They're valuable so that's what I'm trying to be. A valuable asset to this team."

Bosh began the day yesterday as the second highest scorer in the league (a 26.7-point average), behind only LeBron James (27.9). He was second in average minutes played to Golden State's Stephen Jackson. He and Jackson are the only two players in the league averaging more than 40 minutes a night.

But as his head coach, the guy Bosh has left speechless on more than one occasion already this season with his incredible desire to do whatever it takes to win, says scoring is just a part of the effect he has on games these days.

"He's a 20-point scorer on a bad night," Mitchell said. "We've talked about him being consistent, having that mentality and attitude that he is the best player on the floor when he steps on the court. He has been focused every second he has been on the floor. He has been one of our best defenders, he rebounds, he passes when he's getting double teamed. He's just playing at a high level."

And that is why Mitchell believes Bosh has raised the bar from all-star to superstar.

"I just think we have to start talking about him in that sense," Mitchell said.

For Bosh the key is consistency, something he saw plenty of from his teammates this past summer in Beijing.

"I had an epiphany this summer," Bosh said, referring to his gold-medal winning off-season. "In all aspects of my life. I'm trying to make everything better."

Bosh says it doesn't feel like that long ago that he was a wet-behind-the-ears rookie without the necessary bulk to withstand the beatings centres and power forwards were sending his way.

"Usually when the game first started they would go right at me in the post," Bosh said. "You know, try to punish me, but now I punish people. I've been there before so I've got that payback factor working for me. I'm bigger and stronger now. I've got hair now, so let's rock and roll."

And don't be surprised if it all ends up in plenty of MVP talk come March and April.


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