2 time NBA Champion Chris Bosh joins Yahoo Finance's Akiko Fujita to discuss the 2020 NBA Finals, LeBron James' legacy, and life after basketball.
AKIKO FUJITA: Welcome to Yahoo Finance Presents. I'm Akiko Fujita. And today, we are joined by Chris Bosh. You know him as a former member of the Miami Heat, 11-time NBA All-Star, two-time NBA Champion. And Chris, it's great to have you on today.
CHRIS BOSH: Thank you so much for having me. I'm really excited to be here.
AKIKO FUJITA: So we have to start with the NBA Finals. Because as we speak, we are hours away from tip-off of game 5. Your former team, the Miami Heat, of course, down 3-1. You know the record for LeBron James in elimination games. How do you think this is all going to play out?
CHRIS BOSH: Well, I mean, let's be frank. They're in a very strong position, the Lakers are. And, you know, they have an opportunity to close. And it's kind of been one of those long, tumultuous years. And they have a very big opportunity to capitalize tonight.
But one thing I know about the Heat is that they are a very scrappy team. You're going to have to beat them. It's going to be a hard fought series. And I don't expect anything less than that tonight. So we'll see how it goes.
I'm going to always support my guys. I have friends on both sides of the spectrum. So I always just want to see great competition. Everybody, be healthy and just go out there and compete.
AKIKO FUJITA: Regardless of which team wins, there's no question that the NBA has been able to pull off, at least up until now, what is a pretty incredible feat, going into the bubble with no positive cases over the last several months or so.
I'm sure you've imagined at some point, what it would be like to be a player inside the bubble. And I'm curious how you have been viewing how this has all played out, especially with the playoffs as a player, or former player, looking from the outside in.
CHRIS BOSH: Well, I mean, it's an interesting perspective. There's nothing but the game in the bubble. There's no distractions. And to be frank, sometimes you need distractions. Because if you have a tough loss, you usually go to your favorite restaurant.
Or I would ride around town, or go over a friend's house and get things off your chest, and go out there and perform the next day. Do what you need to do to empty your mind or consume your mind. Those guys in there don't have that opportunity.
So just to kind of see how they've been able to continue to compete for championships in the playoffs, be competitive with each other, and still kind of see each other, and not be in their homes, and not have those comforts that you're used to having, I mean, I'm sure has been a tremendous challenge on the players.
But, you know, they've come this far. I think everybody will look back on this as a success. And you have to give credit to the NBA for everything that they've done. They've taken all the precautions. I don't think anybody would have believed you if you would've told them zero tests, which is an incredible feat. But it's been great. And we'll see where they go from here.
AKIKO FUJITA: Let's talk about your former teammate and friend, LeBron James. And there's a lot of historical comparisons that are out there, how he compares to some other players. But I'm curious how you think he has shaped the games. When you look at LeBron's career so far, what is his legacy? And how do you think he's changed the game?
CHRIS BOSH: Well, I mean, just legacy as a basketball player, it's a stepping stone. You know, I know that word "legacy" is so impactful throughout the culture. But, you know, there's so much more off the court, as opposed to what you do on the court.
And, you know, he's built schools, had tremendous scholarship programs for children in northeast Ohio and Ohio, period. What he's done with the game as far as influencing the youth with his style of play, his sneakers. There's so many facets of the game that you could look at. But he's done it all, just being himself.
I've never been around someone who loves playing basketball as much as him. And to see him continue to thrive, continue to play at that top level, I mean, it's what he's sacrificed and worked so hard, put so much into his body and his mind, you know, to be able to compete and do this.
And, you know, a lot of people ask me, am I surprised? I'm not surprised. You know, I-- we expected-- we all expected to be playing well into our mid to late 30s. So, you know, you have to give credit where credit is due. He's a tremendous player and, you know, one of the all-time greats to play the game.
AKIKO FUJITA: LeBron, of course, has led a group of players inside the bubble on the issue of social justice. And, you know, player activism isn't necessarily new. You've talked about it before. Whether it is Elgin Baylor or Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, we have seen them speak out individually.
But it feels like the conversation has been elevated this season because of the collective action of players. What do you think has changed as a result of the activism from NBA players this season?
CHRIS BOSH: Well, I mean, I think, you know, it's just reached a tipping point, not only with the players, but with America in general. You know, seeing another Black man getting killed at the hands of police, it just drove everything over. And it was really those two in a matter of one week that really sent America over the top.
And in that, I think it really hit close to home, not only because there is a large amount of African-American males in the NBA, but Milwaukee, Wisconsin, you know, the tragedy happened right down the street.
And that really, really, I'm sure, put the players in a position-- I think it was led by the Bucks-- that eventually you have to stand up and say something. Because things outside of your world are happening. And to be complacent and silent and kind of stand by and let things watch, without using your platform for a positive message, it wouldn't-- you wouldn't be able to justify to your kids or to yourself later on in the future.
So I'm really proud of the guys for standing up and speaking on causes and making things happen. But like I always say, that's the beginning. You know, now it's on all of us to continue the conversations, to continue the work that we're doing, and to make sure that this is pretty much the status quo, moving forward.
AKIKO FUJITA: You've been active yourself, alongside former players. You've also really pushed to make sure that college athletes can also get that day off to be able to go out and vote as well.
As we approach November 3rd and the presidential election, and seeing the kind of activity that you and other players and former players have been pushing for, what would you consider a successful outcome? How would you measure the success of your activism so far?
CHRIS BOSH: I mean, I think it will be a year by year measure. I think it's one of those things to where, you know, you can't really judge the success because just like anything that's fresh and new, there's going to be some stumbles out the gate possibly. There's going to be lessons to learn.
I would just like to see it continue to grow, really. I think that's the biggest implementation in this. Because year after year, you know, we're going to get a turnaround of new student athletes and new young people that have to exercise or have the right to vote and use their exercise to vote and all those good things.
So, we want to make sure that, one, the education continues and, two, that people are aware of what they can do. And I think that would be a success, enabling people to understand their rights as a citizen and try to get more into it. I think that's the biggest, biggest success that could be had with this.
AKIKO FUJITA: And in terms of speaking of sort of continuing that movement, you have the NBA commissioner Adam Silver come out recently, saying that when you look to next season, the NBA doesn't plan to have the messaging of Black Lives Matter really front and center, saying that this was kind of an exceptional situation.
How much of the league's cooperation do you think has led to you elevating your voice? And what do you think about the NBA commissioner's comments there, about how that was an exceptional situation, maybe going to next season, that's not necessarily going to be needed?
CHRIS BOSH: Well, first and foremost, you have to give credit to the WNBA players. I think they were pretty much the ones leading the charge on social reform, social justice, and things like that. They've been out front and center for quite some time.
You know, as far as the NBA is concerned, using that platform, you know, it's just such a tremendous platform. It's such a great sport. It's always been a sport to where people unite and come together. And regardless of who you support, regardless of what you believe in, the sport has been that ground to where we can start having conversations.
You know, as far as putting things front and center, you know, very exceptional situation. It still is a business. That's one of the things that, you know, we always have to understand in those decisions.
But to see the promotion right now, to see the support, and to see the commissioner, how he allowed the players and allowed the league and allowed everyone to kind of really, really use their voice-- you know, sometimes it can be a very clashing of heads and it's disagreements.
But he allows that conversation to happen by being open to listening to the players, by empowering the players to do things that they think are important. And, you know, there's always been that teamwork between the league and the commissioner and the players.
AKIKO FUJITA: Let's talk about what you have been up to post-basketball. Your career, of course, cut short back in 2016 because of a medical condition. You've talked a lot about the challenges of finding that second act. And yet, here we are today, talking about the release of your first single from your label, Daddy Jack Records. I'm curious what led you to music.
CHRIS BOSH: Man, you know, it was kind of one of those things. I always read these self-help books. You know, I'm an avid book reader. And, you know, I would read all these books a while back. And they would always say, follow your heart. You have to do things that you love doing, and it has to speak to you.
And, you know, the next thing I knew, I was talking to musicians. And I had a guitar in my hand, trying to take lessons. And, you know, I'm building up-- my fingers are bleeding with building up my calluses on my fingertips. And, you know, I just started this journey.
And, you know, I couldn't really describe it at the time. I just loved doing it. So I decided to really pursue that passion. I started meeting great people-- producers, songwriters, engineers, scientists. [LAUGHS] Great, great people that just took me in.
And frankly, I was looking for something else outside of basketball. I had never really thought about that or even given it time because I was so consumed with being great with my craft, which was basketball. So finding something else and really falling into it and taking a deep dive has been great.
AKIKO FUJITA: Yeah, no question a lot of people are going to be looking to see how you expand this second act or this career in music. You know, final question to you, I think there's a lot of us who have spent the last six, seven months or so kind of reflecting on what this pandemic has taught us.
And I imagine for you, you've obviously been cautious because of your medical condition. But you've also had a lot of time at home to think about where you want to take things. What's been the takeaway for you? I mean, what have you learned, or what have you sort of thought of as a result of this health crisis that we've been in?
CHRIS BOSH: Well, I mean, really, just off the top of my head, how important family is, how important it is to-- I mean, I already had this philosophy anyway, but your home being your sanctuary if you're able to do that, having a place of peace, and really pouring into that and diving into that and putting in the work to ensure that that happens.
I mean, I'm sure everyone has really fallen on hardships during these crazy times. I mean, the pandemic is still going on. I suppose we're just learning to live with it more. But for me, it's really putting myself back into my family and really, really understanding how important it is to spend those hours with your children.
You know, we've started traditions such as, like, barbecuing and sitting at the table and eating together on Saturdays. You know, those little things like that can go a long way. And you see how important it is, you know, with the homeschooling aspect of how important teachers are and how important molding the youth are.
You know, it's a very, very important thing. I'm really, really diving into it. It's been great. We've been blessed. And, you know, my heart goes out there for people that, you know, are struggling during this time. And hopefully-- hopefully-- I don't know how, but hopefully, we'll figure out a way how to live with this a little better.
AKIKO FUJITA: Chris Bosh, great to talk to you today. Thanks so much for joining us.
CHRIS BOSH: I appreciate it. Thank you.