Found October 09, 2012 on Fox Sports Florida:
MIAMI Chris Bosh is still listed on the official Miami Heat roster as simply a forward. Coach Erik Spoelstra still treads lightly when discussing Boshs position.

But its OK. Bosh doesnt need to be treated delicately. He admits hes a center.

I made my peace with it, Bosh said.

Bosh has embraced it enough that he recently told FOX Sports Florida he wants to be listed on the NBA All-Star ballot at center. He now regards power forward as his old position.

There was a time when the 6-foot-11 Bosh wanted nothing to do with being known as a center. But then came last season.

With the Heat not having a strong traditional center and Spoelstra wanting to play small ball, he often used Bosh in the pivot. When Miami had fallen behind 1-0 in the NBA Finals to Oklahoma City, he took it to another level. He started Bosh at center, and the Heat won the final four games to claim the championship.

I went ahead and embraced it, and we messed around and won a championship, said Bosh, who had missed nine games during the playoffs with an abdominal strain before coming back as mostly a center for the final eight. So I really messed myself over in that regard.

If Bosh ever has any more reservations about playing center, he soon needs only to glance at his finger. Bosh will receive his championship ring before facing Boston in the Oct. 30 regular-season opener, when he is expected again to start at center.

Its for the best of the team, said Bosh, who opened at the spot and had 22 points and six rebounds in just 23 minutes in Miamis 92-79 loss at Atlanta in Sundays preseason opener. I realized it last year. Its going to happen anyway whether I like it or not. I might as well stop fighting it. After coach kept putting me in there, he must have seen there must be some kind of advantage.

In a league with so few quality true centers, Spoelstra likes the quickness and outside shooting ability Bosh can provide at the spot. But Spoelstra is still very careful when hes asked Boshs position.

Spoestra talks about his players being positionless. But NBA rules do require box scores to list a center, two forwards and two guards as the starters.

I dont want (Bosh) burdened by thinking about the conventional box of a center, Spoelstra said. Offensively, he could be playing on the perimeter. He could be playing beyond the three-point line He could be doing a lot of things hes always done. So why do you have to call him a center? He might not even be guarding a center?

At least Spoelstra doesnt want Bosh, who shot 1-of-2 from three-point range against the Hawks, looking like a typical center. Bosh is listed at 235 pounds, 15 less than starting small forward LeBron James.

Bosh and Spoelstra talked last June after Miamis championship parade. It was determined Bosh should come back this season at his usual weight.

Im not trying to bulk up, Bosh said. (Spoelstra wants Bosh) to play fast. You cant play fast and add pounds. That just doesn't make any sense for me. My advantage is quickness over fives, and Im aware of that. Im not going to bang just because Im a center. It doesnt mean Im going to have that mind frame like Im (Shaquille ONeal) I know that guys are going to outweigh me but that doesnt mean much to me.

It sure doesn't.

The NBAs two best true centers are Dwight Howard of the Lakers and Philadelphias Andrew Bynum. Howard might be 6-11, 265 pounds and Bynum 7-foot, 285 pounds, but Bosh seems unconcerned.

Ive played them before, Bosh said. Its nothing I havent seen. Yeah, they do have a weight advantage, but thats only in your mind. And, you know, if teams feel they have an advantage, tell me them to dump it down there if they can If they say, Bosh cant play the five, we have the advantage, tell them to dump it down there and well see what happens.

It didnt work for the Thunder in the NBA Finals even though 6-10 center Kendrick Perkins outweighed Bosh by 45 pounds. True, Perkins isnt known for his offense. But he was a paranormal on that side of the ball in the final four games of the NBA Finals, shooting 7-of-19 while averaging 5.0 points.

We needed (Bosh at center) if we were going to be as good as we could be, said Heat guard Dwyane Wade.

When the Finals were over and Bosh was dousing teammates with champagne in the locker room, he no longer could deny it. He was a center.

Chris Tomasson can be reached at or on Twitter @christomasson

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