Chris Bosh has had a heck of a summer. Watching LeBron James depart to the city that built him was a temporary distraction from considering his own future and negotiating that contract he had coming. Ultimately, Bosh walked away with a five-year, $118-million deal, which isn’t bad for a lanky guy from Dallas.
But that wasn’t it. Bosh also continued his efforts to join the league’s upper echelon of dressers – arguably a harder feat than making the All-Star Team. Never one to lay up when he can dunk, Bosh partnered with Philadelphia-based suiting accessories brand Armstrong and Wilson to launch a new line: Mr. Nice Tie. The first collection is heavy on the greys – firmly on trend – and extremely refined. Turns out that Bosh, who famously sports a pretty long neck himself, is something of a neckwear expert. He spoke to MAXIM about his last few months – all those fabrics; all those rumors.
What made you want to try your hand at designing?
I guess I've always been creative. When I was younger, I used to draw a lot. I'm that type of guy. They say, "left-handed people are more creative because we use the right side of the brain.” I guess it's something that has always taken hold in my life. And I just had the idea that one day I'd like to make ties.
I used to sit and watch my dad tie his ties, and when I could finally do it, not needing any help, I felt like I was closer to manhood. It was like a rite of passage for a young man to figure that out. My dad had a heavy influence because of dressing the way he did, making sure he always had on a tie. It gives me a nostalgic feeling.
Why did you want to partner with Armstrong and Wilson, an online boutique, rather than a bigger company?
They have such a nice product. Their attention to detail is outstanding—in everything that they do. These are two young guys who've really had success, and they obviously know the business. I wanted to learn more about the business, of course, and be able to partner with someone who already has a strong product. That was my mindset going into it.
Russell Westbrook recently teamed up with Barney's and a number of brands, including Naked & Famous Denim and Del Toro Shoes, which is a favorite of yours. Do you see yourself venturing into upscale casualwear in the future?
I've always loved fashion, even more so since being in the NBA. There are a lot of opportunities for guys to do cool things. Russell's really setting the mold for that, being in Barney's and working with different brands. He's opened the box up, and it's really cool to watch. For others, they just have to figure out what they want to do and make it happen.
Dwyane Wade's fresh off an expansive collaboration with The Tie Bar. Has he offered any advice throughout the process?
I haven't really talked much about it with the fellas. This is something that I really started attacking after the season was over. But I'm always open to advice that people give, especially Dwyane's. He's worked in a bunch of different spaces, and he's definitely one of the more business-savvy guys out there.
Now, is there a friendly rivalry between you, Dwyane, and LeBron when it comes to fashion and style?
Well, we're not like, "Oh, man, I'm fresher than you!” or anything like that. But you definitely check out what others have on sometimes.
You’ve said that this summer made you excited to play again. Do you still feel that way?
It’s given me more of an aggressive mindset because I know what's needed for us to continue winning. The team is going to need a lot more from me, and I haven't had that responsibility since leaving Toronto. It's lit a fire in me, and I'm excited.
Photos by Bill Baptist / NBAE / Getty Images