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Chris Bosh, Adrienne Bosh

When Chris Bosh showed up at Madison Square Garden for a Knicks presesaon game earlier this week, media speculation began. Bosh, an 11-time NBA All-Star and two-time champion, has missed the past two seasons -- and is about to miss his third -- because of a blood clot. New Knicks head coach David Fizdale was an assistant for the Heat during Bosh's tenure in Miami, and the two have remained close. Bosh has never officially retired and has not ruled out playing again, and New York would make sense. Meanwhile, Bosh did drop a bombshell signing this week outside of basketball. He signed with esports organization Gen.G as player management advisor. This will make Bosh an "advisor, coach, mentor and confidante" to Gen.G's five teams. ThePostGame caught up with Bosh to discuss his entry into the video gaming world, his family (he has five children) and his current fitness level.

ThePostGame: When did esports come into your life? Was it when you were playing or after that you noticed this was a big industry?
CHRIS BOSH: It was while I was playing up there in Toronto. There was a Madden tournament against a couple of professional gamers, and I caught one slipping too. I beat him. He was really mad too. He was really mad I beat him in front of everybody, but it's been since about then, '07, '08 around there and I've always just kinda kept my eye on it and I was aware of the professional gaming world. I thought it was just a phase and that there were guys out there doing that. I was kind of just naturally drawn to it because it's people doing what they love doing for a living. And it was some of those same games I played, like Madden and Halo 3, games that I was really on back then and they were the main, professional games back then in my world and my atmosphere. I really just started following it and just being very curious about it and even playing with some guys trying to get better and having a good time, having fun. 

TPG: That means you were significantly ahead of the curve. Part of the credit probably goes to Toronto which has been a forward-thinking city. You've said you have been a big gamer and you just mentioned Madden and Halo 3. What is your personal gaming history?
BOSH: Halo 3 got me started on the shooters, I never played any shooters before that. It was really just the football games and the shooting games. Then I really fell into Call of Duty. Really, really got into that, still into that one. Now I'm inheriting other games that I may not be very good at them such to the fact where I don't even tell people my gamertag. I just want to be terrible for a while until I'm good. But in these new games, like Black Ops 3 is coming out, it's kind of cool seeing them roll out another franchise. And you know, not another franchise but another addition to the franchise to just keep it going. I think games are just now starting to create these franchises that are kind of gonna stay in the mix forever and just keep going and keep growing.

TPG: Before you signed this deal you visited and spent some time with Gen.G’s Overwatch League team. What did you notice about these professional gamers, seeing these guys who do this full-time as a team? What did you notice during that meeting?
BOSH: How young they were. (Laughs) How much they liked fashion. They had some nice clothes. Just seeing, not that I was surprised, but seeing how they interact with each other, and how, because I think it was an off day. Seeing them outside of the norm a little bit and how many of them there were ... I thought an Overwatch League team is a couple guys, but it just takes a lot of guys to help make that thing grow. There's definitely a youth aspect with just how shy everybody was. These guys have millions of followers, all on their own from their channel on Twitch and stuff like that, and them just kinda having their own ethos, you would expect more brash cockiness a little bit, but these guys are very humble. They're eager and they were super respectful. You could tell these kids, they wanna win, they wanna bring glory and honor to their family and their country and their team. They wanna be successful.

TPG: With you coming in and seeing that youth that you talked about, how do you feel you can have a role in terms of mentoring and helping this team? 
BOSH: Just kinda trying to bring my adventures and teamwork into the picture, trying to relate to them on that level. Letting them know that I struggled individually and as a captain and as a follower and as a leader. I'll try to put my own experiences that I've had throughout my life, especially in basketball, to help draw the parallels, to help draw the connections into where they can understand and respect what kind of information I'm bringing to them. I know they want to win as a team. No matter which way you look at it, teamwork is teamwork. You have to play a role. You have to be the best at what you do. You have to work hard and uplift the team, you know? Those are like basic principles that some people might make too complicated. I try to simplify things and that's the value I'm trying to bring to Gen.G in the team-building concepts.

TPG: You mention those concepts, if you could go back, a rookie Chris Bosh playing on the Raptors, with a veteran Vince Carter and veteran roster, what advice would you give to that Young Chris Bosh?
BOSH: Aw man, you know, I would say, "Talk more. Lean on your teammates a little more. Be more talkative, ask more questions, get in the gym a little bit." I would definitely handle it differently. Thankfully, everything worked out, but that would be the main thing I'd say. Just bond with your teammates because that's one of the important things that people just miss out on and then they don't get. That is your family now. You guys spend more time together than with your actual families and that's blood, so, there is a sacredness to that. You have to take it very seriously. And I would definitely tell young Chris to be more social and ask questions, ask way more questions. Don't be too shy and worry if he may feel this way. Do it because this will only be here for another year and a month.

TPG: Well, that would be psychic (Vince Carter was traded in December 2004 during Bosh's second season). I don't want to call Current Chris, "Old Chris," but Current Chris, could there be a Twitch presence in the future?
BOSH: Aw man, I'm not sure. It's so huge what Twitch is doing. I don't know if I'd wanna mess up what they are doing. They are doing pretty good and I might pick up a couple trolls with my terrible playing. I don't know. I mean maybe if i get more free time.

TPG: I know your kids are still young, but are they getting into video games? are they watching Twitch or other videos?
BOSH: They're not yet. I don't allow my son [Jackson], but he wants to. He was asking me about Fortnite. He's only 6, so I was like, "Nah, not yet bruh."  You gotta pay your dues a little bit, but my son is taking a loving to gaming. And it's funny to watch him play because I was that same kid. Some parents, it drives them crazy and I can understand it, but I understand it, so I allow some wiggle room sometimes to you know, play more than usual. Nothing crazy but a couple more minutes don't hurt. 

TPG: Well, you see people making careers out of it now, so ...
BOSH: Yeah, I mean people are making careers and I know how much I play. I'm blowing him out of the water right now. (Laughs) It's just one of those things as a parent you have to get a feel on it and make your decisions, and I know that him having the name, "Bosh," there are particular things, you are gonna be a lot more popular than normal people, and so, I just try to prepare him for that and when he's of age and I feel that he's ready, yeah, for sure you can game out all day if your homework is done and you've got some time in between now and bed, man, go to town. You gotta keep your followers going, you gotta post videos, I'd definitely implore him to have fun doing it because it's a great stress relief also.

TPG: You mention your teammates are your family. You've had the opportunity now for two-plus years to be with your family for unfortunate, or maybe fortunate reasons. As a parent, what are some things that you've taken on that you couldn't do as a father during your career that now off the court, you are able to do more?
BOSH: Man, just being more involved. And playing more. Usually during the season and even summer too, if Daddy's around, Daddy's probably sitting on the couch watching you play. I'm more active with the kids now. I take my daughter and my son to school every day in the morning. Things like that or going to a PTA meeting. Being a more involved parent, having more time and talking to the teachers. It's kind of funny doing that stuff, but those are the things I found myself falling into a lot more and really embracing it. They need that guidance. I see how important it is to be more and more in their lives and doing what I'm supposed to do and making sure I'm on top of my business and setting a good example for them throughout the house. 

TPG: And are you still in Miami?
BOSH: Nah, I'm in Austin, Texas.

TPG: I know you recently spent some time in New York. I live in New York, so you know how this media works and you know how the rumor mill starts, so all of a sudden you hang with David Fizdale and people start saying things. Just how are you physically feeling right now? In terms of your health, now versus when you were playing, how do you feel?
BOSH: I feel good. It's funny. I let it slip one day, I ran up stairs and I was like, "Man." My wife was with me and I said, "Man, you know what, this is the first time I walked up the stairs without my knee hurting." She looked at me and said, "Your knees were hurting every time you walked up the stairs?" And I was like, "Yeah, I mean, hell, yeah, it was." So, I feel good, man. My body feels great. I think this is what a 34-year-old is supposed to feel like, which is pretty cool because I felt way older, years and years ago. This is like backs and bumps and bruises that you pick up throughout the season. I'm fresh. I feel good. I'm fresh in the mind and I can't complain one bit, man. It feels great.

TPG: I know you're not ruling out a return one day and I'm not trying to get you with any gotcha questions or anything like that. But one question I have is, are you playing any pickup games? Are you playing any basketball on the side?
BOSH: I play pickup, not a lot, I'm not gonna lie to you. I wanted to get more involved with that, but yeah, basically, I had bigger fish to fry and finding runs wasn't top of my priority list. But I do work out three, four times a week. I'm just trying to keep my body and my mind in enough rhythm. But it's not an easy thing to do. I'm trying my best to do it.

TPG: In terms of Gen.G, do you know what your schedule will look like in the future? Will you be traveling to some competitions you think? Or is there a central location?
BOSH: Yeah, absolutely. They left it up to me and we've been really working together to see if I'd be able to make it to and what capacity, specifically, I can help out in. We've got a couple things down, but I think this is an evolving relationship. I think that we are gonna continue to get better and have more of an understanding of how we are gonna work with each other. But yeah, I definitely want to see you know, 80,000 people fill up a football stadium or a soccer stadium or whatever you call it for these games and for these players. I've only seen it on TV for the past couple years. I know it's there, but I want to see it for myself and experience that myself. 

TPG: And you know there's an NBA 2K League now too?
BOSH: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, I had a couple friends try and get into it. They didn't get drafted, but they made it like for tryouts. Getting drafted is a totally different thing, but yeah, they were kind of explaining the whole concept to me and it's crazy, it's here. It's here and the NBA is involved with it. I think we are only gonna see more relationships between gamers and athletes because we understand teamwork and we've played a lot of games.

-- Follow Jeff Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband. Like Jeff Eisenband on Facebook.