MIAMI – Chris Bosh traveled the world this summer with his family and tried to give his mind and body a break from basketball after helping the Miami Heat win a second straight championship.
The body got that break.
But the mind, not so much.
Bosh couldn't stop assessing his season with the Miami Heat and wound up coming to a somewhat surprising conclusion: He could have done much more. So this season, with a third straight title being the ultimate goal that the Heat will start to chase when training camp opens this week, Bosh also has a personal goal in mind.
"To be quite frank," Bosh said in an interview with The Associated Press, "I'm trying to have the best season of my career."
That's big words from someone who enters his 11th pro season with career averages of 19.5 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, and is coming off a season where he shot a career-best 53 percent from the field. But as Bosh spent time in Spain, France, Morocco, Italy, India and "a whole lot of Porto places," he said, he kept thinking back to moments that got away, even in a year where Miami won 66 games and posted a 27-game winning streak.
Something, for whatever reason, was missing, he said.
"I've really been hard on myself for not having that hunger last year," Bosh said. "I can't believe I didn't have it. But I'm excited. That's part of the reason why I'm so eager and ready to really get this season started. I feel I have a lot of things to prove this year. I want to be one of the best players in the league and I have the ability to do that — of course, within the teamwork that we already have. But there's another level I can take it to."
The Heat will have their annual media day in Miami on Monday; Bosh isn't sure if he will be there for at least some of the festivities, since he may have a family matter to tend to first, but is certain to be on the plane when the team flies to the Bahamas early Monday evening.
The first two training camp practices of the season are Tuesday at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. For the most part, the team remains intact — Mike Miller has departed after being designated Miami's amnesty-provision player, and the Heat used some of the resulting financial flexibility to add Michael Beasley, Greg Oden and Roger Mason Jr., among others, with hopes of adding some extra depth.
"It really hasn't sunk in yet," Beasley said last week.
Some of the moves haven't hit Bosh yet, either.
"It's amazing that we're able every summer to find ways to get better as a team," Bosh said.
The same, he hopes, can be said for him as an individual. At this point, it's not about reinventing his game, but refining it. Bosh insists that whatever ailed him last season won't be an issue when coach Erik Spoelstra blows the season's first whistle on Tuesday.
"I want to carry more of the load on offense and on defense," Bosh said. "It's going to take more if we want to win three in a row. And that's the goal."