The Chris Bosh vs. Miami Heat drama, as expected, is getting messier and messier. That last sentence should soon become a significant part of your NBA-observin’ muscle memory. Alert your cerebellum.
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We’re over a week removed from Bosh being ruled out of Heat training camp by team doctors due to their diagnosis of ongoing complications resulting from the blood clots that ended both his 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons. Bosh, working with prescribed blood thinners, declared himself fit to play last spring and vows an NBA return, but the Heat have just about washed their hands of him entering a rebuilding 2016-17 season without Dwyane Wade.
Both the team and player claim that neither side has reached out to the other, but the Heat have been continually on record regarding their opinions and declarations regarding his future with the squad. Bosh, through his own video series ‘Rebuilt,’ has understandably attempted to keep his fans in the loop as he continues his comeback.
“That does not mean my NBA career is over. There are 29 other teams, it’s a whole league. One team does not make up the opinion of everything.”
Bosh went on to claim that he “didn’t even get a call or text or anything like that” from the Heat, or president Pat Riley.
You’ll recall that Riley, earlier in the week, gave a rather dour appraisal of Bosh’s future with the team:
“ […] we are not working toward his return.
“We feel that, based on the last exam, that his Heat career is probably over.”
Asked if he felt Bosh’s NBA career was over, as well, Riley said, “that’s up to him.”
The Heat, on Friday, took sharp issue with that contention that the team had not reached out to Bosh. From the Sun-Sentinel’s Ira Winderman:
Riley contended he attempted numerous times to reach out to Bosh without success. A team spokesman said Friday that Riley attempted to reach out directly to Bosh by text and email in advance of his Monday announcement, and also attempted to contact Bosh’s agent and manager in advance. Riley and Heat management declined additional comment Friday.
On Monday, Riley said of previous such efforts by himself, coach Erik Spoelstra and Heat owner Micky Arison, “He was contacted throughout the summer by Coach Spo, myself and Micky and he decided not to talk to any of us until he was clear.”
Chris Bosh, according to the Miami Heat, is not clear to play. He feels as if working as an active NBA player while on blood thinners (though this is unprecedented at the NBA level) is a venture worth examining, and his charges against the Heat fall just one step short of accusing them of canning his career in the hopes to clear Bosh’s future salary off of their books.
Bosh will receive the remainder of the nearly $76 million owed to him via the five-year, $118 million deal he signed back in 2014. Money is not the issue, here. Bosh wants to make an NBA comeback and he doesn’t want the Heat (possibly in search of salary cap room, which could be in the offing come this spring) sullying anyone’s opinion regarding his health.
Worse, he likely fears a league-wide collusion that that would prevent all but Pat Riley’s most ardent enemies from looking to sign Bosh following his release. Should another team sign Chris Bosh after an independent physician concludes that the 11-time All-Star is unfit to play for Miami, a 25-game run with another NBA franchise would put Bosh’s salary right back on Miami’s books.
These complications are for another day, and that day starts on Feb. 9 – a year to the date of Bosh’s last game with the Heat. For now, despite his obvious displeasure with the Heat’s findings, the onus is now on Bosh and to a lesser extent the Heat to find a way to construct a bridge over the previously felled lines of communication.
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