Behind The Scenes

Bosh vs. Bayless revisited

Miami Heat All-Star Chris Bosh visited ESPN’s Bristol headquarters Wednesday for in-studio appearances with ESPN Radio’s Mike & Mike in the Morning and ESPN2’s First Take.

The shows were hand-picked by Bosh, who previously guest co-hosted Mike & Mike and frequently watches First Take.

While a wide variety of topics were covered during both interviews, First Take began with a lengthy conversation with Bosh addressing strong criticism he received from commentator Skip Bayless during the 2010-11 NBA season.

“Chris and the Heat have been much discussed on First Take, and not always using flattering terms,” said Jamie Horowitz, ESPN coordinating producer.

“Chris knew Skip had been critical and wanted to discuss the comments and share his perspective in person.”

Bosh, addressing the “Bosh Spice” nickname Bayless called him at times during the season: “I don’t have a problem with you [Bayless] at all. We’re both professionals and we both do our jobs…my only problem is the whole misuse of the name. If I stink it up on the court, that’s fine and I don’t have a problem with you. I love jokes. I love cracking on jokes.”

Bayless: “I respect the Bosh name, but I have no regrets with referring to you occasionally — especially early and at midseason — as ‘Bosh Spice.’ I admit I was very tough on you, but I thought your performance with the Miami Heat — ‘The Heatles’ — warranted an occasional use of that nickname …I thought it was fitting and accurate because, occasionally, early on with this team, I thought you were soft, passive and unaggressive …”

“You could have shut me up at any time by simply performing. Ultimately, in the postseason, you didn’t hear me calling you ‘Bosh Spice.’

“You chose to join LeBron James and Dwyane Wade for $110 million. You chose to enter the harshest, toughest, roughest spotlight in all of sports.”

For the full exchange, watch the video above.

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