"Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh said he has 'no bitter feelings' toward LeBron James following James' decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"'We're going to be brothers regardless,' Bosh told ESPN.com in a phone interview on Saturday. 'No bitter feelings, man. It's all love.'
"On Friday afternoon, Bosh was standing on a basketball court in Ghana 5,000 miles away from Miami when his cell phone buzzed with a text message from James.
"After four years together, James informed Bosh and Dwyane Wade separately that the four-time MVP would leave the Heat to return home to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"For Bosh, Plan A all along was to return to Miami with James, Wade and Bosh and try to reach the NBA Finals together for a fifth straight time, but with James heading elsewhere, it was on to Plan B. And that didn't take long to take shape.
"Moments after receiving James' text, the Heat offered Bosh a maximum contract worth $118 million over five years, something that wasn't on the table at the start of free agency. The Heat had competition. After considering 'strong' offers from multiple teams, including the Houston Rockets, Denver Nuggets, Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers, Bosh ultimately decided to return to the Heat later that night.
"'(They were) very enticing offers,' Bosh said. 'There was some surprising advances made in everything, but I ultimately decided to stay in Miami. I think it was the right choice. I benefit from it, the team will benefit from it, from here. My heart was in Miami. I wanted to be there and keep my family there and build relationships and really keep on building something special.'"
The Heat have a retooled roster with the additions of Danny Granger, Josh McRoberts and Luol Deng, who agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with Miami on July 13. Bosh feels the Heat have what it takes to return to the NBA Finals, per Haberstroh:
"We're all making decisions to make ourselves happy and our families happy. That doesn't take away what we've (James and Bosh) have done together and the special bond that we created and the special bond that we have and just all the memories that we had together.
"That will never change. As you move forward, you appreciate those moments and keep going forward.
"I think right now we have the correct infrastructure to compete for a champsionship. We have to get much better at certain positions, and there's a bunch of things that have to continue to happen. But you know a team like the Spurs, they had a lot of guys that people underestimate, but as a team, they were outstanding."
Bosh opted out of the final two years of his previous contract with the Heat and waited to see what James would do before making his own decision, according to a separate ESPN update:
"Bosh opted out of the final two years of his deal -- worth $42 million -- with the Heat last month. He had planned to see what former Miami teammate James decided before making his free-agent choice. Earlier Friday, James told SI.com that he would be leaving the Heat to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
"The Rockets thought they were nearing a deal for Bosh, with a source close to the situation telling ESPN.com's Marc Stein earlier Friday that the team believed it would have a commitment 'soon.'
"Houston had offered him a maximum four-year, $88 million deal, sources said. It cleared out cap space by trading guard Jeremy Lin and a future first-round pick to the Los Angeles Lakers earlier Friday, a source said.
"But Bosh chose the Heat instead, rejoining the team he's spent the last four years with alongside Wade and James.
"Keeping Bosh was a huge part of Miami's immediate reaction plan after learning that James was leaving. He's an All-Star who averaged 16.2 points on 52 percent shooting last season, and now figures to potentially get many more shots in the Heat offensive scheme. For his career, Bosh has averaged 19.2 points in 11 NBA seasons."