MIAMI – After all that both he and his former coach Sam Mitchell have been through, Heat star forward Chris Bosh knows that at least a thing or two never changes through all these years.
A decade ago, both were learning their professions when Mitchell coached Bosh in Toronto with the Raptors, an experience that left Bosh with an impression he believes true until this day.
“The loudest coach,” said Bosh, a young star with the Raptors back then. “That’s what he does, part of his persona and his personality. He’s going to bring it every day. He’s going to be intense every day. He’s going to be loud every day. You’re going to know he’s there. You’re going to feel it whether you’re a player, a reporter or a fan. That’s a good thing because he taught me really to be prepared to play every game.”
Mitchell coached Bosh for four-plus seasons in Toronto, but not since he was fired by the Raptors in 2008. He remembers that time fondly.
“An extraordinary young man,” Mitchell said. “You hear so many times about superstars and how difficult it is to coach them. He was totally the opposite. He was a true professional. He was an unbelievable, unselfish teammate. All the good things that happened to me in Toronto, coaching him was up there among them. He just made your job easy. He’s just the best, one of a kind.”
Second time around
The Wolves completed their season series with Miami, just three weeks into the season.
Wolves rookie Karl-Anthony Towns noted how the Heat was one of the first teams that tried to take his drives to the basket away 12 days earlier.
So on Tuesday he started the game by making the night’s first shot, a 20-footer, on a 14-point, 14-rebound night that was his seventh double-double in 11 pro games.
“It’s part of his growth, he’s playing a team a second time for the first time,” Mitchell said. “They had some success against him. Karl has just got to play.
‘‘… To his credit, Karl battles every night. Every night we watch Karl and there’s something he learns.”
Wolves rookies Towns and Tyus Jones sat awfully close to each other before Tuesday’s game for two guys whose Kentucky and Duke teams played each other that night in Chicago. Towns celebrated two victories late Tuesday, his Wolves’ and UK’s.
“Our time is over,” said Towns, who celebrated his 20th birthday Sunday. “We’re old fellas now.”
• Mitchell praised young star Andrew Wiggins’ perseverance and 24 points Tuesday, in particular because Mitchell says Wiggins is playing through pain.
“I’m 20 years old, I’ve got a young body,” Wiggins said afterward. “If it hurts today, it’ll be gone tomorrow.”