Hyde: A laugh, a scream and Chris Bosh reminds us of the greatness that’s missing | Commentary

Chris Bosh always loved a laugh, and there it came again Tuesday night, everyone in American Airlines Arena laughing and cheering and saluting him one final time.

“I’m going to scream again,” he said at the end of his speech at the end of his Miami Heat jersey retirement.

That scream. Do you remember? That mouth-stretching, face-contorting, bicep-flexing scream that provided an exclamation point for a big shot, big moment or, in this case, a final send-off to his big night.

“Come on!” Bosh shouted, walking around the small podium before letting it roar one final time to the rafters where his jersey now hung. The crowd joined him with their scream, too, during this halftime ceremony of the Heat’s big game against Orlando.

He joked later about having the, “regular stress of having young children.” He’s moved on from that complicated end of health concerns to simple ones of raising a family. That allowed Bosh and the Heat to enjoy a night four unmatched years in the making.

There always was the unseen, technical part of Bosh’s game where he was considered the league’s best big man defending the pick-and-roll in a game built around the pick-and-roll.

There’s also the manner he shrunk his ego to assume a smaller role, as he had to, for those championship teams. Heat coach Erik Spoelstra seized on that theme in discussing Bosh to the Heat before Tuesday’s game.

“If you want to be a champion, you have to be willing to have characteristics of a champion before you are a champion,” Spoelstra said. “CB embodies that. He was willing to sacrifice.”

Spoelstra remembered a night when the Heat went down to Indiana in a playoff series, 2-1, and everything was in disarray. A knock came at 2 a.m. on his hotel door. It was Bosh holding a couple of beers.

“A great friend,” Spoelstra said. “A great human being.”

Dwyane Wade introduced Bosh, too, talking about his learning Spanish and how to play the guitar. Bosh then started to talk and turned to Wade.

“Sorry to beat you to this jersey-retiring thing,” he said. “But I had to beat you at something.”

A few minutes later, Wade still was running around, still trying to rally a team to the playoffs one final time. It was as big a game as we’ll watch in South Florida right now.

It will have to do, even as Bosh’s final scream that the crowd made a participatory roar reminded everyone how much bigger the stage once was.