Chris Bosh on How to Reinvent Yourself, The Way and The Power, the Poison of Complaining, Leonardo da Vinci, and More (#515)

Artist's rendering of Chris Bosh
Illustration via 99designs

“You can have a pity party, but after a while, [people are] going to get tired of you complaining. They’re going to be complaining about you.”

— Chris Bosh

Chris Bosh (@chrisbosh) fell in love with basketball at an early age and earned the prestigious “Mr. Basketball” title while still in high school (Lincoln High School) in Dallas, Texas. A McDonald’s All-American, Bosh was selected fourth overall by the Toronto Raptors after one year attending Georgia Tech. By the end of his basketball career, he was an 11-time NBA All-Star, two-time champion, and the NBA’s first Global Ambassador of Basketball. In March of 2019, Bosh’s #1 Jersey was officially retired for the Miami Heat. In addition to his basketball career, Bosh founded the community-uplift organization Team Tomorrow in 2010 and regularly speaks to youth about the benefits of reading, coding, and leadership. Bosh, his wife Adrienne, and their five children reside in Austin, Texas.

His new book is Letters to a Young Athlete, which includes a foreword by Pat Riley.

Please enjoy!

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You can find the transcript of this episode here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.


Want to hear an episode with one of Chris’ former coworkers? Check out my conversation with LeBron James, in which we discuss self-care, self-talk, sleep, wine, workouts, and much more.


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  • Chris’ bio is so full of accomplishments that it glosses over one some people train their whole lives to achieve. What was it like to win a gold medal for the US at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing? [06:33]
  • Some people spend their downtime playing cards or watching soap operas. Chris learns foreign languages. [08:46]
  • Why did Chris retire from basketball seemingly at the top of his game? [12:12]
  • What was it like for Chris to get so much visibility and early fame as a 6’11”, highly accomplished high school basketball player? To what does he attribute his ability to focus at an age when many of us were busy making terrible decisions? [16:48]
  • Why were Kevin Garnett and Tim Duncan the basketball players that Chris most emulated early on? [23:46]
  • Some basketball basics I just learned about. [31:05]
  • Positionless disruption: How would Chris explain the positions of basketball to an alien (or a curious but clueless podcast host), and how has statistical analysis changed the way the game is played over just the past few years? [34:38]
  • How have coaches and players adapted to this disruption of the way basketball is expected to be played? What made Chris excel at his position even though he was essentially punching above his weight every game? How did the teamwork dynamic change? [39:33]
  • While NBA stats are available to everyone equally nowadays thanks to the internet, the way the data gets used isn’t as much of an open book. [46:16]
  • As an avid reader, what were the most memorable books that Coach Erik Spoelstra gave to Chris during his time playing for The Heat? [47:11]
  • Books Chris has found worth re-reading. [51:53]
  • After spending time with multiple world-class leaders, are there any lessons or stories related to leadership that stick out to Chris? [57:56]
  • Important things people don’t see or don’t know about some of the big names Chris has spent time around. [59:58]
  • Chris is known for being methodical about his performance. How did he set out to improve something like a three-point shot? [1:03:00]
  • Do good three-point shooters have a similar approach, or do styles widely vary? [1:08:14]
  • Why did Chris make the move from Toronto to Miami? Were there ever moments of doubt when he regretted it? [1:10:27]
  • When Chris is reviewing footage of his own performance, what kinds of things does he look for and pick out for improvement? [1:17:08]
  • What compelled Chris to write his new book, Letters to a Young Athlete? [1:24:56]
  • Admired people whose advice is featured in the book. [1:28:19]
  • What does Chris think Pat Riley’s superpowers are? [1:31:32]
  • Where did Chris’ fascination with Leonardo da Vinci originate, and how does he take comfort in the volume of work even da Vinci didn’t finish by the time of his own unforeseen retirement? [1:34:29]
  • What helped Chris get through the unwelcome news that he’d have to retire? [1:38:58]
  • What advice would Chris give to someone who can no longer pursue that one thing that makes them get out of bed in the morning, and what helped him gain the perspective to stop complaining about his own problems? [1:44:37]
  • Writing a book is hard. How long did it take Chris to write Letters to a Young Athlete, what did the process look like, what lessons were learned along the way, and who is this book for? [1:53:48]
  • What Chris hopes people take away from Letters to a Young Athlete and parting thoughts. [1:58:03]


The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 600 million downloads. It has been selected for “Best of Apple Podcasts” three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it’s been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.