For Chris Bosh And The Miami Heat, The Jokes Are Over (Maybe)

MIAMI, FL - MAY 22: Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat reacts in the fourth quarter against the Chicago Bulls in Game Three of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2011 NBA Playoffs on May 22, 2011 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat look to knock off the Chicago Bulls in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals Tuesday night, and after 34 points in Game 3, Bosh says he's heard enough jokes from the peanut gallery. Plus: An inside scoop from Ohio State, insane goaltending, insane gossip, insane college football fans, and a much-needed NBA parody. Talking Points is a daily series that breaks down some of the best stories in sports (and elsewhere). Check out the archives.

Chris Bosh dominated Game 3 between the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls, and on the heels of his 34 points to take down Derrick Rose and Co., he's taking aim at his critics.

After Carlos Boozer went out of his way to say to the Heat have "two great players", a lot of folks wondered if that's what's motivated Bosh in this series. So far, he's scored more than any other player on the Heat or Bulls, and for the first time all year, he's looked like a legitimate peer to LeBron James and Dwyane. So was it Boozer?

Bosh talked to ESPN Radio in Miami this week, and said no. "He didn’t piss me off. It wasn’t like I was just thinking of that quote the whole time. It didn’t do much for me. It did motivate me at times, but it wasn’t the main source. I get inspiration from everywhere and that wasn’t the main thing."

So has the criticism bothered Bosh, in general? He says yes. "I’m not going to lie," Bosh explained. "It gets under my skin a little bit. ... It’s like okay a joke is a joke. Come on. I am trying my best. ... It made it hard to not get offended. It’s like I’m working over here."

But with everyone congratulating Bosh on his vindication, let me just say this for the record. We can all sympathize with Bosh to some degree, but he asked for the spotlight when he came to Miami, and what he's doing against Chicago doesn't change what's already happened.

He's a great player, but it's hard to take any player seriously when he complains about practicing, cries in press conferences, flops worse than anybody in the NBA, poses for ridiculous photos, lies about getting married, and openly admits that opposing fans had him rattled.

He also can't keep his story straight. When somebody asked him about Boozer's comments after Game 3 on Sunday, he said, "It does nothing but help. I think about it when I'm shooting."

Now? "It wasn’t like I was just thinking of that quote the whole time."

That's been the problem with Chris Bosh all along. He came to Miami to win a title, but then he didn't want to practice all the time. He cries, and flops, and gets rattled, but he thinks the jokes are unfair. He's motivated by Carlos Boozer, but then... He's not motivated by that at all, actually.

Someone like that will be the butt of the joke no matter how well he plays. Just like LeBron. So yeah, we'd all like to accept Chris Bosh for what he is, but I'm not sure Chris Bosh has gotten that far, himself. And in that case, for Game 4 and beyond, don't file away all your Bosh jokes just yet.

 

With that, let's get into another edition of Talking Points...

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Mark Titus Is Ohio State's Deepthroat. Frankly, it'd been too long since we'd heard the name Mark Titus. Here's everyone's favorite Buckeye rainmaker giving his take on the OSU football scandal:

...I frequently crossed paths with a bunch of the football guys for a variety of reasons (stayed in the same dorm as some of them during my freshman year, went to same place for our training table meals, had a bunch of mandatory athlete meetings with them, some of them hung out with my teammates, etc.). And in crossing paths with them so frequently, I can offer this analysis: While I don’t really know anything about the whole tattoo ordeal, I’m almost certain that there was something shady going on with the car dealer.  In fact, as the news of the free tattoos and sold merchandise or whatever came out, I kept telling my family how funny it was that they were getting busted for tattoos and gold pants when I was pretty sure they had been getting serious discounts on cars for years.

Again, I have no "inside information" and really only know what the general public knows.  But it doesn’t exactly take top notch detective skills to figure this one out.  Anyone who spent any time on Ohio State’s campus while I was there could tell you that there were an unusually high volume of brand new Dodge Chargers driving around on campus, and just about all of them had tinted windows and rims on the outside with Ohio State football players behind the wheel on the inside. 

Now, I understand that there’s a chance these guys all paid the same price for their cars that normal citizens like you and I would pay, and I honestly hope that they did.  But my intuition has told me for years that something is off.  I’m not sure how much the monthly scholarship checks the football team got were for, but when I was on my basketball scholarship for my first two years at Ohio State, I was only given $1,100 a month. 

Mark Titus is the man. This was my favorite part, actually:

That might sound like a lot of money at first thought, but you have to realize that these checks had to cover the monthly cost of rent, utilities, food, gas, entertainment, tattoos, trips to the strip club, bottles off the top shelf, weed, hookers, blow, and – on top of all of that – child support.  I wouldn’t necessarily say I struggled to pay all my monthly bills, but as you can imagine, I sure as hell never had enough of a cushion to afford a $400 monthly car payment either.

And not that we needed more proof that Ohio State has been running a dirty program for the last decade or so, but this certainly fans the flames a little bit. Say it ain't so, Jefe Tressel!

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This Should Be Your New Desktop Background. No idea what "riding the wavy train" means, but any picture of Rick Ross and Andy Samberg surfing on waves of money is cool with me.

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A Game Of Inches (And Insane Goaltending). Via ESPN's Chris Forsberg, this was insane:

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There's video of the insanity over here.

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In Case You Want To Be Instantly Depressed. From this past weekend, the New York Times looks at gossip news culture, and finds... Um, Michael Lohan masterminding a billion dollar industry?

When asked in an interview about his attempt to "monetize" his harassment charge last summer, Mr. Lohan answered, "You have to."

"It’s a business," he said, adding, "If they want to write stories about me, why shouldn’t I get paid to tell the truth?"

He said the incident with Ms. Major "had nothing to do with the show" they were filming. As for law enforcement suspicions that the couple exploited the case for maximum exposure, Mr. Lohan said he would "not confirm or deny what was part of the media and what wasn’t."

[...]

Mr. Lohan has managed to attain enough B-list fame to land a slot in the coming season of "Celebrity Rehab" on VH1, for anger-management treatment. He was paid six figures, he said, for roughly three weeks of filming.

Sometimes it feels like the gossip industry (TMZ, etc) exists solely for people to scoff at. Something so inherently pointless, it bolsters the self-esteem of everyone else that spends their day obsessing over things that are supposedly less pointless (sports, movies, etc).

That's where people like the New York Times come in to confirm our suspicions, and two thousand sanctimonious words later, everyone feels better about themselves. The only people wasting more time than the gossip industry are the people whining about what a waste of time it all is.

On the other hand, this Times article goes deeper. Instead of just dismissing the debauchery, we get a window into an underground ecosystem where everyone's food chain is intertwined. To borrow an example from the article... Lindsay Lohan goes to rehab and she sells her story for tens of thousands. Lindsay Lohan attacks an employee at rehab, and the employee sells her story for tens of thousands. Lindsay Lohan's dad hears about the fight, contacts the employee, brokers a deal for Lindsay to publicly apologize, and everyone--Lindsay, her dad, the employee, the gossip magazines--gets paid. And this stuff happens all the time.

It's hard to know what to make of it all, except that there's a lot more to the gossip industry than meets the eye. And if you're interested in rubbernecking at human disasters, it seems like the most addictive story is less about who's on TMZ, and more about who's making money off it.

(On the bright side, online sportswriting is doing GREAT.)

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Speaking Of "Monetizing" Stuff... In case you're like everyone else on earth and don't read the fine print that pops up during registration for various services online, Twitter has sold the rights to any and all pictures that users upload via TwitPic. Who knows what that even means, but in 2011, it's probably best to err on the side of egregious abuse of privacy.

Thankfully, Carmelo's wife uses a different service, so we can still proudly upload this:

Carmelo_baltimore

As LaLa tweeted, "We couldn't come to Bmore and not have these!!!!"

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A Closer Look At Harvey Updyke. This is from yesterday, but I wasn't working, so you'll have to bare with me. And if you haven't seen Wright Thompson's sitdown with Auburn tree-killer Harvey Updyke, check it out. The honesty's brutal, and there's an element of insanity that will make you cringe. And smile a little bit, too. 

It may be hard to separate the passion from his actions, but it's just as hard to read the story without smiling a few times, thinking, "God, people are INSANE over Alabama college football." It's not like Harvey Updyke's the only one. He's just the only one that had nothing to lose, and nobody around to talk him out of it. Speaking of unchecked insanity...

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The Guy Who Called 911 For A Ride To His Baby Mama. Of course he's from Memphis.

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Can't Mention Mark Titus Without Linking To Mr. Rainmaker. It's an internet rule, I think.

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Finally, Here's A Parody Of Those Stupid NBA Commercials. We touched on the NBA's idiotic talking ball commercials a few weeks ago, and somehow they've gotten worse since that piece published. Now we have guys like Magic Johnson and Julius Erving doing sitdown interviews with these "characters." I'm not sure who should be more ashamed. The NBA for pitching Hall-of-Famers on a Sesame Street gimmick, or guys like Dr. J and Magic for saying yes.

Either way, this Kobe parody was very necessary. "Let's be exclusive."

With any luck, Funny or Die can hire Iverson for part two. God knows he's available.

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