If there was such a thing as a “quiet” offseason, Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh knows nothing of the sort. In a summer where the entire dynamic of the NBA was altered by player moves, homecomings, and new “super-teams,” Bosh did something that a number of other players didn’t: re-established his roots. The 6’11, 11-year vet decided to keep his talents on South Beach, signing a five-year extension deal totaling a whopping $118 Million after opting out of the remaining two years of his current contract. Partnering back up with the newly-married Dwyane Wade, Bosh is now looking to become the face of a Heat franchise, where just last season he was looked to as a supporting, yet important character.
After returning to the States from a trip to Ghana, Bosh announced a new venture, a neckwear collection in collaboration with accessories brand Armstrong & Wilson–Mr. Nice Tie. EBONY sat with Bosh to learn more about the man who’s looking to make as big of an impact in the showrooms as he does on the court.
EBONY: So out of all of the collaborations that athletes tend to go for, what made you want to choose to make your own necktie?
Chris Bosh: Well, I always wanted to do something out of the box, but still made sense for me. I actually wear ties. Fashion had always intrigued me, and after doing some research, I focused on ties. Working with them (Armstrong & Wilson), I knew I was going to do this properly, I knew it was going to work. Challenges always were going to come, but this was something I wanted to do for a while, so I knew it was going to work out.
EBONY: What was your inspiration on the designs of the ties?
CB: Well, as you know I spent my early years in the league in Toronto, and living in Miami now, I rarely get a chance to participate in true Fall/Winter fashion. So in working on the Fall line, I was excited to work on these heavier fabrics and darker colors and patterns. My father had inspired me on wearing suits at an early age, he always wore a suit or shirt and tie when he did business or when we went to church, so I grew up with the desire to wear a suit.
EBONY: With the NBA and its players becoming increasingly fashion-conscious, what is your go-to outfit?
CB: A suit, definitely. A very cool, clean suit. Very simple. I prefer very minimalistic looks to something that is bold and pops, but it depends on how I’m feeling that day. And that also factored into how I made the ties, I wanted certain aspects that popped out yet blended in.
EBONY: I checked out your episode of Maestro Knows, where we learned a bit about your passion for art. What are some other interests that you have that the common fan may not know about?
CB: I love to read, I don’t read as much in the summer, but during the season you can always catch me with a new book. I’ve been really trying to expand my knowledge of arts, I’ve recently went to an exhibit of Da Vinci’s portrayal of “The Last Supper,” and to hear the history behind the piece was really cool. I love to travel with my family, I love the simple things.
EBONY: How would you describe these past few years of living and playing in Miami?
CB: It’s been a dream come true, despite the highs and lows. Staying here in Miami was all about me wanting to be a player that the people will remember. And I always wanted to play the game with a sense of purity, as well. This is a different situation for me, but I’m excited, I want to see what I can pull out of myself, and I want to rise to the challenge.
EBONY: What do you think of all the changes the league have went through this off-season?
CB: The landscape is awesome, man. The league is exciting again. You know, when you do the same thing, things can become monotonous. But all the moves have made the game as exciting for the players as it is for the fans. As much as “The Big Three” [the combined efforts of Bosh, Wade, and LeBron James] loved playing with each other, we’re all competitors at the end of the day, and we’ll get a chance to live out that competition playing on different teams now. I know that I’ve grown as a player from when I was in Toronto, I have more skills now, and I’m ready for what’s coming this season.
EBONY: What do you think of the cultural boom in Toronto that’s come via Drake and his ventures with the Raptors?
CB: I think it’s great, Toronto has a very exciting fan base. We didn’t get a chance to take them to the playoffs and I still think about that to this day. A lot of people have supported the team since its inception, so to see what it’s grown to is great. Toronto will always have a special place in my heart, I grew up a bit there.
EBONY: What are some more things we should be looking for from the Chris Bosh brand?
CB: Mr. Nice Tie has all of my focus right now. I’m really excited about it and I can’t wait for the launch. All I’m focused on right now is my family, basketball, and Mr. Nice Tie.
Cory Townes was born and raised in Philadelphia, and currently lives in Brooklyn. A devout Philly sports fan, Townes is the Social Media Manager for EBONY.com. When he’s not planning his fantasy drafts or enjoying the plights of the New York Knicks, you can reach him on Twitter @CoryTownes.