Tim Reynolds: Bosh, on the thousands of notes he got from Heat fans after the first clot in 2015: “I read those letters. Those letters pushed me to get back on this court. Those letters inspired me to get back up and walk across the room when I didn’t think I had the energy to do it.”
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Tim Reynolds: Bosh calls Game 6 the biggest rebound in NBA history. “I feel great. I’m happy. I’m healthy. And I’m ready to explore life outside of basketball.” Says he’s addicted to gold trophies: Oscars, Emmys, Grammys, Tonys. “But nothing will compare to a night like tonight,” he says.
The moment that led to Tuesday’s upcoming retirement of Chris Bosh’s No. 1 Miami Heat jersey came in the form of an epiphany. “You can’t live two lives,” Bosh says with the clarity that had been lacking after he was initially diagnosed with a second round of blood clots in February 2016, the moment his All-Star NBA career was put on hold for a second and final time.
Heat president Pat Riley and owner Micky Arison refused to acquiesce to a risk-accepted return. “It was tough, man. It was stressful,” Bosh says. “And nobody wanted it to be like that. And it’s business. I understood the whole time of where they were coming from and how they felt, but I want to make sure that people understood how I felt, as well. Sometimes that requires confrontation or involves confrontation. It was never confrontational. It was never anything detrimental to our relationship. We always kept it business. We all pretty much disagreed.”
“Micky and Pat — and this is one thing I have to get straight with people all the time — we never not talked. We communicated through this whole ordeal,” Bosh says. “And my message was always the same, ‘I want to play the game. I want to explore more options to be able to play.’ “
Chris Bosh is making a lot of music these days. He drinks beer and thinks about making more beer. He sketches. He paints. He plays with his kids. He has even learned how to use a wrench. He is also happy and healthy. And finally, he’s made peace with the devastating way that blood clots ended his NBA career without warning and when he was still in his prime.
His career is obviously worthy of celebrating. Bosh just hasn’t been in the mood to celebrate, until now. “It’s very awesome,” Bosh said. “I thought I had more time, but in the time I gave it was still worthy enough to have the organization and the great Pat Riley consider this. Pretty cool.”
Bosh got the remaining $52 million on his $118 million contract. In the financial sense, he was made whole. But he never learned why the clots kept happening. And a year ago, at the All-Star weekend in Los Angeles, Bosh’s wife Adrienne had enough — she pulled her husband aside, told him to end his self-described “pity party” and start enjoying being around the game and his friends again. “I feel great now,” Bosh said. “Things are great. Things are really, really good.”
As part of that settlement, which still has Bosh earning $26.8 million this season (it does not count toward Miami’s cap and it is mostly covered by insurance), he is not allowed to return to play for the Heat at any point. But it appears he has settled into life after basketball, although he hasn’t officially announced the end of his playing career. “Chris was going through a lot,” Heat guard Dwyane Wade said of his former teammate and close friend. “He was somebody who was one of the best players in the world, and he had a diagnosis that comes that no one is familiar with, really. It’s just a tough situation. You got a player who was 32 at the time, something like that, and the way the game is going, can play for a long time. It’s just unfortunate.
The truth about the Heat is that even when departures grow heated, bridges rarely are burned. It is why Alonzo Mourning can return to share in a championship, why Shaquille O’Neal can return to have his jersey retired, why LeBron James can receive a heartfelt tribute while in a Cleveland Cavaliers jersey. That’s what made Wednesday at AmericanAirlines Arena so significant, the warmth of the embrace between Chris Bosh and Heat management, coaching staff and players. The chill since Bosh’s departure in the wake of blood clots, one that had to be brokered between the NBA and union, had been frigid for months, if not years. Then came Wednesday, the prelude to Bosh’s No. 1 jersey (since unissued) being raised to the rafters, just as James’ No. 6 eventually will be. “We couldn’t walk around as proud as we are without Chris Bosh,” Dwyane Wade said.
How is your health right now? Chris Bosh: My health is great. I feel great. I have been working out and just trying my best to stay in shape. My day will come.
Bosh’s NBA career came to a halt after his second blood clot diagnosis in 2016. The first blood clot, which traveled to his lung, was discovered in 2015. He hasn’t played a game since just before the All-Star break in 2016. He won two championships with the Heat, was named to 11 All-Star teams and is an Olympic gold medalist. While he told USA TODAY Sports that he is not retired and interested in playing again, it is difficult to envision a team doctor clearing him for an NBA return.
Chris Bosh will make a final determination on his career by the All-Star break, and he’s open to playing for any team willing to take the gamble – including the Knicks. Visiting MSG on Monday for the Knicks’ preseason game against the Wizards, Bosh told the Daily News he remains focused on a comeback from the blood clots that forced him to retire prematurely.
Still, it’s “complicated,” as Bosh noted. Over a year ago, his clotting issues were ruled by the NBA and the player’s union as career-ending. He was released by the Heat, which are holding his medical records. The fear with blood clots is that contact could result in severe internal bleeding. “It’s up to the team doctors from that team. And then we go from there,” said Bosh, who hasn’t played since the 2015-16 season.
David Fizdale was Bosh’s assistant coach in Miami, helping transform the 7-footer from a back-to-the basket force to a center who could shoot 3’s and spread the floor. The result was two championships with the Heat and four NBA Finals. “He helped me so much as far as dissecting offenses,” Bosh told the News. “Film work. And just mentally preparing for every night challenge. We felt a bond just trying to figure out how I can be effective in a free-flowing offense we had. And sometimes it was just having a beer and talking and leaving all the offcourt stuff to the side.”
Bosh told Yahoo Sports that he “absolutely” understands those concerns, but he has weighed his treatment options and sought enough second opinions and to feel comfortable that he can identify the symptoms and still play without catastrophic risk to his health. “That’s kind of always the basis of the conversation, and I appreciate people who check up on me, but this is something that of course I’ve thought long and hard about. I know what those things feel like.”
“I go there, and I’m smiling, and everyone is scowling at me. The whole LeBron ‘Decision’ had everybody so mad. I don’t know why, but I caught so many stray bullets being around it. Then we lost [in the 2011 NBA Finals to Dallas], and people were dogging me. I started to get pretty bitter.” The enduring image of Game 6, the clinching win for the underdog Mavericks, was a distraught Bosh stumbling to the locker room in tears. Videos of him crying went viral, and he was summarily vilified for being “soft.” “All those people who made fun of me for breaking down, they didn’t understand,” Bosh says. “I put my life into this. I was getting it from all sides, and then we lose. I expressed my feelings, and then they made fun of me for that. I was too honest. I just couldn’t win.”
Bosh has been adamant that he will return to the NBA, and that he should be ruled eligible to do so. The NBA has a “fitness to play” clause that prevents players from appearing in games while they have life-threatening injuries or illnesses, and for that reason, Bosh has been kept out of the league. The NBPA has been silent on Bosh’s case, citing medical privacy.
But a source told Sporting News that Bosh could petition the league again for a return to action, arguing that advances in blood-thinning medication make him less likely to have an on-court problem and that he’s willing to accept responsibility for any such incidents.
If Bosh were to return, re-joining James on a veteran’s minimum contract with the Lakers makes abundant sense. Bosh knows well the challenges of playing with James — he’s spoken openly about them — but also, if he can get back to his old form, he would be an ideal fit next to his championship frontcourt partner.
Life is pared down. He works as a Blazers ambassador, enjoying the connection to fans, and does occasional stints on sports radio. He owns a modest house on a nondescript suburban street, where he lives with his 14- and 15-year-old daughters. When I visit, the fridge is stocked with healthy foods: spinach, egg whites, zucchini. A yoga book rests on the coffee table. It’s not until I enter his personal study, off to the side, that I find any mementos from his career—framed jerseys from the Blazers and the Heat. More prevalent are photos of family and fishing trips. He says he hasn’t played basketball in years and isn’t that interested in talking about the old days.
You called all these GMs, I’m sure you called the league, the Players Association—I’ve been told there’s almost no hope [for Chris Bosh to continue his playing career]. Jackie MacMullan: I’ve been told there’s no hope, and it’s because the situation is too dangerous, too scary. […] From what I’ve been told, and of course, the records are sealed because of HIPAA laws and because all of his medical records from the Heat have not been seen by other NBA teams, at least that I’m aware of, I should say that, because perhaps someone asked and the Heat obliged, I’m not sure. I didn’t get that sense but I suppose it’s possible. But we don’t really know what else is involved with this. And I get the sense, from talking to GMs around the league, that there’s other things in play here.
Bill Simmons: There’s no chance you play again, right? Chris Bosh: Nah, there’s a chance. BS: There’s a chance? Really? What chain of events would have to happen? CB: Well, I would talk to a team. Which, I’ve talked to guys. And their doctors—because like I said, there hasn’t been a plan. But if a team creates that plan, we can go from there. But we’ve explored those things and it’s a lot of work. We don’t have the resources to do the research and everything. But if it’s important enough to a team to devise that plan and talk on the phone to doctors, insurance and all those things, then yeah, we can talk about it.
The Miami Heat shut down their five-time All-Star, and after exhaustive testing and treatment, announced in September 2016 that Bosh had failed his physical. Miami’s front office, concerned for their player’s future as a father and a husband, not a basketball forward, told him they could no longer risk putting him on the court. Just like that, it was over. No more championship trophies to hoist, no more All-Star teams to make, no more gold medals or endorsements or private jet excursions with the guys. Bosh retreated home to his wife, Adrienne, and their four small children, plunked himself on his leather sofa and asked aloud, “What the hell just happened?” “It’s pretty much like cruising along, going 150 miles an hour in your Porsche — and then you fall into a hole,” Bosh says.
Bosh’s medical records with the Heat are sealed; even though other NBA teams have not had access to them, many have already reached their conclusion. ESPN contacted four general managers to gauge their interest in Bosh. All four said if Bosh was given a clean bill of health, there would be a clamor to sign him. But as one GM explains, “If he was healthy, he’d be playing for the Miami Heat right now. The fact they determined it was not an option makes me say we’re not going there.” “The risk is too great,” says another GM. “We’re talking about a life-threatening condition. Who wants to mess with that?” The answer, most likely, is no one.
Chri Bosh, who turns 34 on March 24, says he trains regularly and still has plenty to offer an NBA team. His condition, he believes, should not hold him back. “I’m going to give [playing] one more shot,” he says. “That’s all it is — a shot. “I’m at a space in my life where I see gifts I’ve been given, and if it ends, it’s been a helluva ride. I did more than I’d ever think I’d do. The next [goal] was longevity, 25,000 points and 15,000 rebounds, but that’s not going to happen,” added Bosh, who now has 17,189 points and 7,592 rebounds. “I’ve accepted that.”
Losing the game is one thing. Losing the environment that accompanies it has been even harder. The players he spent every waking moment with for nearly 10 months a year have, one by one, vanished from his life. “It tails off,” Bosh admits. “Guys tried [to stay in touch]. But it doesn’t last. They get in the middle of the season and you aren’t part of it. You’re sitting here feeling like nobody cares about you. “I went from a full schedule, 41 road games, everyone coming to see you, everybody loving you, people wanting stuff from you — actually, that’s still going on — to this schedule I have now. “I spend my days in an office in my house. There are things to be done that I don’t have the skill set for. I’m able to learn on the fly, thank God, so I can function. But it’s difficult. “People used to ask me, ‘What else do you want to do?’ For me, the answer was, ‘Nothing.’ I loved basketball. It’s all I wanted.”
Bosh says he finds it awkward to engage with some of his ex-teammates. They are still in the moment, with the spotlight shining brightly on them, and he is a sobering reminder of how it can all go bad in a heartbeat. Because of that, some of them avoid him. “We are so egotistical when we’re playing,” Bosh says. “We’re like, ‘This is all about me. They’re talking about me on ESPN, I’m making all this money, I’m winning all these games.’ “Those moments where 20,000 people are watching you, and you hit the game winner? It’s an incredible feeling.” He pauses, wistfully. “I would love,” Bosh says, “to experience that feeling one more time.”
Draymond Green never stepped on a piece of cardio equipment until he was in college. Not all those years growing up in Saginaw, Mich., where his gritty game grew in spite of the fact that his waistline would often do the same. Not in that summer of 2007, when he sprained his ankle before his senior season at Saginaw High School not long before he would head for Michigan State en route to Golden State Warriors fame. There was, as he remembers, a total dearth of health facilities in his home region.
Albert Nahmad: Chris Bosh is being paid the $52.1M remaining on his contract through 2018-19 by the Heat in twice-monthly installments over five years. Miami is eligible to be reimbursed $175K for each game he misses (up to $28.7M total) via insurance, which would stop if he is able to return.
Sirius XM NBA: So will we see @Chris Bosh back on the court this year? “If it’s something available this season and it makes sense, but this might be more of a slow simmer kind of situation.”
Even after blood-clotting issues prematurely ended his 2014-15 and 2015-16 campaigns, even after the NBA’s independent medical review confirmed the Miami Heat’s diagnosis that it was unsafe for him to continue playing, even after he was waived in coordination with the announcement that the Heat would retire his number, Chris Bosh has always maintained the belief that he can return to the court. The 11-time All-Star took that a step further on ESPN’s “First Take” on Thursday morning, informing the panel that he continues to prepare for a comeback and, shockingly, is open to an NBA return this year.
“I’ve been in the gym,” Chris Bosh said. “I can still play basketball. No. I’m not done yet. Yeah, I’m trying to come back. Man, I see all these guys shooting 3’s and not playing defense, and, man, I’m saying I’ve got to get some of it.”
All the while, Bosh has maintained that an NBA comeback isn’t out of the realm of possibility. On Thursday, he made the leap to not only saying he was ready for a return, but ready for one now, even referencing the March 1 deadline for teams to acquire players and keep them eligible for the playoffs. “Next season, yeah,” Bosh said of his comeback plan. “The roster spots haven’t been filled this season yet, so it’s always a possibility.”
Although Chris Bosh has not played in an NBA game since Feb. 9, 2016 because of blood clotting issues, he’s not ready to close the door on his NBA playing career just yet. “That’s still there in front of me,” Bosh said on The Full 48 podcast hosted by Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck. “The window is still open. Once I close the doors, it’s closed. I don’t open it back up. That’s kind of me as a human being. That’s just one of the things about me. … But yeah, for me, I don’t close anything until I’m officially done. So until that day, I will definitely let everybody know when that day comes, if it comes soon. “I still, of course, work out and everything. I’m still doing work on the court. That’s very important to me. I’m still keeping my options open for the future. I know a lot of people don’t know that, but don’t write me off just yet.”
“That’s a fair question,” Bosh said said on The Full 48 podcast. “I would definitely understand and I do understand when my friends ask me or people ask me the same thing. But I think it’s something about the body of work. It’s about what you do and the impression that you leave, the inspiration that you leave with people. And you know, I’ve been playing basketball my whole life. So for people to understand, whatever it is you love doing, just stop doing it today and never do it again and then use that same philosophy. And they’ll probably find it’s not as easy as you would think.”
Although Chris Bosh has not played in an NBA game since Feb. 9, 2016 because of blood clotting issues, he’s not ready to close the door on his NBA playing career just yet. “That’s still there in front of me,” Bosh said on The Full 48 podcast hosted by Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck. “The window is still open. Once I close the doors, it’s closed. I don’t open it back up. That’s kind of me as a human being. That’s just one of the things about me. … But yeah, for me, I don’t close anything until I’m officially done. So until that day, I will definitely let everybody know when that day comes, if it comes soon. I still, of course, work out and everything. I’m still doing work on the court. That’s very important to me. I’m still keeping my options open for the future. I know a lot of people don’t know that, but don’t write me off just yet.”
Bosh is living in Southern California and associates say Bosh has by no means ruled out playing again despite his past battle with blood clots. His salary would not go back on the Heat’s cap if he plays again elsewhere.
What’s next for Chris Bosh? “Basketball and stuff.” That’s what he told TMZ Sports outside Coral Tree Cafe in L.A. moments ago — advising his fans not to close the book on his NBA career just yet. “Health is great, feeling great,” Bosh said … noting that he’s focusing on being a dad while he figures out his next basketball move.
The Heat is expected to release Chris Bosh this week, clearing the remaining $52.1 million of his contract off its salary cap and ending a seven-year relationship that including the exhilaration of two championships and the numbing news of multiple blood clots that ultimately ended his Heat career. Miami needs to make the move this week to push its available cap space from $9 million to a bit over $34 million. Players can be signed after noon on Thursday.
In order for Bosh to be cleared from the Heat’s cap, a doctor needed to rule that Bosh’s injury was career-ending or at the very least, would put him at risk if he plays again. That ruling happened in the past two months. But an associate said Bosh has by no means ruled out playing again. Bosh will receive the remaining money on his Heat contract – $25.3 million next season and $26.8 million in 2018-19, with insurance paying a substantial chunk of that.
Barry Jackson: His Heat situation resolved, Chris Bosh is relocating to LA. As we reported last week, deal was struck in early May to remove him from cap. Bosh will be released and be cleared permanently from Heat cap, as previously reported. Doctors agreed illness career ending but Bosh has not ruled out a return. Parties ended this amicably. Announcement pending but this was resolved weeks ago, Bosh told people.
The NBA’s newly created Fitness-to-Play Panel has agreed with the Miami Heat’s position that Chris Bosh has suffered a career-ending illness, the Sun Sentinel has confirmed with parties involved with the process.
The ruling leaves only the formality of the team placing the former All-Star forward on waivers to remove Bosh, 33, from their salary cap. The Heat have put off that maneuver until such salary-cap space is required, either for a possible trade at or near the June 22 NBA draft or the July 1 start of NBA free agency.
Once the formal application for waivers is made by the Heat, the team will immediately drop below the salary cap. The Heat will have about $37 million in salary-cap space available at the July 1 start of free agency with Bosh’s salary off their cap.
The majority of front office people who gave their (anonymous, obviously) thoughts on Bosh believed that while there would be interest in him, it would be hard for any team to go after him because it would be so hard to find a doctor who would pass him on a physical. “There will be interest, but the health risks outweigh the upside for most organizations,” one Western Conference executive said.
“There will surely be interest, but it may be hard to find a doctor that will clear him,” an Eastern Conference executive said. “I don’t see how medical people will want to sign off and clear him,” another Western executive said. “Unless something has changed with his health recently … I don’t know of a team that would want to take that type of a risk. If something were to tragically happen, it’s hard to recover form that. Very unfortunate.”
“Miami had about $50 million reasons for him to play and could not get a doctor to clear him,” another West executive said. “Very unlikely the answer will be different at a team with $0 million reasons for him to play.”
Chris Bosh has told family members that an agreement has been struck among the NBA, the Heat, the union and himself for Bosh to part ways with the Heat at some point in the coming months, with the Heat receiving maximum cap relief, an NBA-employed source said in early May and reiterated Tuesday.
The source said in early May that Bosh had reached a unique agreement that would purge him from the Heat’s cap before the start of free agency but also give him the opportunity to play again, if he chose, without salary-cap consequences for the Heat.
There have been discussions about Bosh’s departure being termed a “medical retirement,” but that is not definite. And Bosh has by no means ruled out playing again. The Lakers would be a natural possibility; Bosh spends his offseasons in Los Angeles and the Lakers’ general manager, Rob Pelinka, is Bosh’s former agent.
“I certainly felt for him,” Allen said of Bosh. “My vote was for him to just not play because I don’t want to hear anything that wasn’t necessary to happen. His life, that was the most important thing. My household was just wishing the best for him and his health. Selfishly, we were saying, ‘Chris, just sit down,’ because we didn’t want him to do anything that was irreversible.”
Bosh remains under contract with the Miami Heat, though the team is likely to begin a process of waiving him and getting salary-cap relief from the final two years of his deal. He’ll be owed about $52.1 million for 2017-18 and 2018-19, money he is guaranteed to receive but dollars that may not count against the Heat books. He is reticent to discuss his playing future, though acknowledged again that planning to play this season but not being able to because of a failed physical “was a challenge.” “I’m still a basketball player at heart,” Bosh said. “I can’t help it.”
“I’m a little bit more adjusted now,” Bosh said. “But before, you’re going 100 mph and the brakes are slammed on and now you’re not moving at all. It’s definitely an adjustment, just being able to get used to things and finding that purpose that I think we all need to succeed and have good mental health. It’s been a challenge. Things happen for a reason, I guess.”
The five kids at home, that’s full-time. And they’re used to having their dad at home when they arrive back from school in the afternoon, something Bosh — who is playing some basketball in workouts — has happily gotten used to as well. “People are so concerned and I appreciate it, but I’m doing fine,” Bosh said. “I’m very happy. I’m getting to do other things that I have never been able to do. I’m a beginner in a lot of things. But I’ve learned to like it, and just look at the nice new picture I have of the world.”
The use of blood thinners typically returns a blood-clot sufferer to general health, although the use of blood thinners is contraindicated for those attempting contact sports. The Heat, according to a source close to the situation, in recent days have attempted to reach out to Bosh in hopes of an amicable resolution, without response. Bosh remains with a stall in the Heat locker room at AmericanAirlines Arena, but has not been around the team this season, in contrast to his presence after being sidelined the previous two seasons.
Presuming a doctor agrees with that assessment, then Bosh’s contract would be cleared from Miami’s cap, creating an additional $25 million in cap room this summer and giving the Heat an estimated $38 million in space. But if Bosh makes a comeback with another team, that could be problematic for the Heat. Once he plays in 25 games for another team during any single season (including playoffs), his salary would go back on Miami’s cap.
Chris Bosh has a new job, yet does not sound like he’s abandoning his old one. More than a year removed from his last NBA game, Bosh said during his debut appearance as an analyst for Turner Sports’ “Players Only” programming that he’s working out — indicating that he has not ruled out trying to play again. “My health is great,” Bosh said during Monday night’s initial broadcast. “I’m feeling good, still working out and just really still staying ready.”
An NBA-employed associate said Bosh has made no attempt toward playing this season but still has interest in playing again, health permitting. Bosh’s comments come days after he was in contact with the Heat’s medical staff, as the sides are expected to begin the process of a separation at some point in March.
NBA on TNT: Welcome to the family, @chrisbosh!
The talent show, produced by Turner Sports in association with Juma Entertainment, will feature eight finalists showing off their special skills, including C.J. Miles of the Pacers playing piano, Miami’s Chris Bosh playing guitar, Phoenix’s Devin Booker playing ping pong, Oklahoma City’s Victor Oladipo singing and Cleveland’s Iman Shumpert and the Lakers’ Metta World Peace and Lou Williams rapping.
Bosh has not definitively decided whether to resume his career. He certainly has not ruled it out. And the idea of playing again with Dwyane Wade or LeBron James appeals to him.
Bosh reached out to the Players Association last spring in efforts to force the Heat to allow him to play, but Bosh has not contacted the union for that type of assistance in recent months, according to a source with direct knowledge. Bosh, in fact, hasn’t responded to some of the union’s calls to check on him. Even some union officials have doubts about whether he will be cleared to play again.
An ESPN report said that if Bosh returns to playing basketball after missing all of this season with the Miami Heat with life-threatening blood clots, the Bulls would make a serious run at adding the 11-time All-Star to their roster. Following the Bulls’ shootaround at Philips Arena in preparation for Friday night’s game against the Hawks, Wade was surprised to hear about the report.
“I play with the Bulls and I don’t even know that,” Wade said. “That’s news to me, he’s one of my good friends. The biggest thing with Chris is … his health. He’s not even playing basketball right now. Basketball is something he loves and I’m sure somewhere in the back of his mind he would love to be able to do again but I know his steps and that moment is not here now. I can’t even talk about next year.”
“A lot of the issue with the Heat is at the end of the day he has something serious and they want to make sure it’s not life-threatening and then it goes from there,” Wade said. “Things are said and things are done but at the end of the day as I’ve always said about Chris, I know Chris is worried about his health first. He has a family that he loves and he wants to make sure that he’s as healthy and whole as he can be. But also he loves the game of basketball so when that day comes there are always going to be stories about guys where they have friends at. Everyone knows he a good friend of mine so that’s probably where you get some of that. But besides that, he hasn’t told me that.”
Vincent Goodwill: Bosh was in Chicago visiting Wade during Raps-Bulls game not too long ago. Wouldn’t be surprised if Bulls made a run. But medical clearance?
Sean Highkin: Chris Bosh and his wife were at a Bulls game recently, fwiw. And then Bosh played guitar onstage with Buddy Guy the next night.
If Bosh, who turns 33 in March, makes it back onto the floor next season, word is that the Chicago Bulls are already plotting a run and will be at the front of the line to try to sign him.
More than one rival team has said they don’t expect Bosh to be waived by Miami until after March 1, thereby ensuring he’s not playoff-eligible for another team. The prospect of removing Bosh from the team’s payroll becomes an active option for the Heat after Feb. 9, which is the one-year anniversary of his last game for the club.
Forward Chris Bosh: Has been away from the team since failing his preseason physical, after missing the second half of the past two seasons due to blood clots. The Heat are expected to begin a permanent separation process sometime after Feb. 9, the one-year anniversary from Bosh’s last game played with the team.
Bosh, speaking at a CES gadget show in Las Vegas, did not address his health but said he’s still figuring out what he wants to do next. “I’m still learning more about myself and my situation, and really off the court how to function there because I’m kind of getting the taste of retirement now,” Bosh said, via the Associated Press. “Just trying to navigate those waters because it gets a little complicated sometimes. … Hoping one day that the stars align and I figure some things out and things kind of just go my way and I’ll be able to do what I want to do. I don’t know what that is yet.”
Bosh has always shown that he’s not just a basketball player, though. He takes pride in being a well-rounded person. He used to have a YouTube channel with vlogs, interviews, even a behind-the-scenes series about getting his first tattoo. He’s become a talented chef and he’s appeared in movies and on television. And these days, the Dallas native has picked up a new, more harmonious hobby: the guitar. “I started playing because of my situation,” Bosh says. “I had a lot more free time on my hands. I always wanted to learn music. About eight years ago I tried picking up playing the piano. My cousin would give me lessons. Of course, I didn’t pursue it. It got too hard and I stopped. I always thought the guitar was cool. So I said, If I pick it up and don’t put it down, I can learn how to play the guitar.”
Bosh wants his release so he can join another team. It is far from certain he will get that chance. Indeed, his career might already be over. While no one can offer certitude, sources who spoke with Bleacher Report in recent weeks—including team executives, medical experts, sports ethicists, player advocates and other league personnel—painted a grim picture. There are doubts that any team doctor will clear Bosh to play—or that it would be wise or even ethical to do so.
The NBA’s new labor deal, agreed upon last Wednesday, will create for the first time an independent medical panel to settle life-and-death cases, according to details obtained by Bleacher Report. When a player is declared medically “unfit” to play, his case can be referred to the panel by his team, by the league or by the players association. If the panel determines the player has a life-threatening condition, it could bar him from playing in the NBA again.
Because his condition predates the new labor deal, Bosh will be exempt from the new protocols—i.e., his case cannot be submitted without his consent, sources said. However, Bosh himself can initiate the process. He could even do so before the new labor deal takes effect on July 1, with the agreement of league and union officials.
A source said Bosh still is evaluating options. A compromise would be the sides reaching a buyout. The Heat declined comment on all matters Tuesday. According to medical experts, multiple blood clots can mean a patient suffers from an auto-immune blood condition making someone prone to clotting. Lifetime blood thinners are normally prescribed. Bosh has done commercial spots for an increasingly popular blood thinner, Xarelto.
According to a source, the Heat don’t want to deal any longer with the uncertainty and threat of Bosh’s blood clots, and wish to be done with it. The Heat can waive Bosh at any point and take the cap hit if he searches and finds a new team willing to work with his goal of playing again.
Two sources familiar with the situation told The Post that Bosh’s failure of the physical stemmed specifically from a blood-clot matter, as many have speculated. Bosh had two previous blood clots — in February 2015 and February 2016. It is standard in cases such as Bosh’s to undergo a sonogram, to make sure the legs are clot free, and a chest CT scan for the lungs. It is unclear if the sonogram or CT scan showed the old blood clot still had not dissipated enough despite blood thinners — or if a third clot had formed.
According to a league-employed source connected to Bosh, the mindset at the moment is that he’s more likely to attempt a comeback next season than this season. The Heat eventually needs clarity on that, because if Miami goes through the process of removing his salary from its cap in February (it cannot happen before Feb. 9) instead of, say, April, it would leave Miami at risk if Bosh makes a comeback elsewhere this season because his salary would go back on the Heat’s cap if he plays 25 games with another team (regular season and/or playoffs).
The labor agreement is written in such a way that Miami now must root against Bosh being cleared to make a comeback elsewhere. Bosh is expected to come off Miami’s cap soon after Feb. 9, which would eliminate hits of $25.3 million next season and $26.8 million in 2018-19, though he would still be paid everything he’s owed, partly from insurance. The cap-hit removal will become definite if a doctor selected by the league and union determine, as expected, that his condition is career-threatening or severe enough to put him at risk if he plays.
Larry Coon and Nate Duncan tell me that even if Miami is capped out at the time, it would not be required to shave $25.3 million off its team payroll (and get back under the cap) after Bosh plays his 25th game for another team. The bad news: As Coon and Duncan explain, if the Heat is already capped out at that point, that would result in a $65 million luxury tax bill for Miami, unless the Heat frantically shed tons of salary in trades.
Salary-cap relief won’t come until Feb. 9 at the earliest, but the Miami Heat are now positioned to receive insurance relief from the balance of Chris Bosh’s contract, General Manager Andy Elisburg confirmed Monday to the Sun Sentinel.
With Saturday’s victory over the Washington Wizards at the start of this four-game trip marking 41 consecutive regular-season games missed by Bosh, who failed his preseason physical after missing the second half of the past two seasons due to blood clots, Elisburg confirmed that insurance on the remainder of Bosh’s contract can now come into play. Bosh, who is under contract for this season and the following two seasons, has been away from the team since the end of last season, currently posting vacation social media from Southeast Asia.
Bosh has already received $9.5 million of his $14 million 2016-17 salary in up-front payments as previously negotiated. Even with insurance kicking in, Bosh continues to receive his payments from the Heat in similar form as previously. “We still pay Chris,” Elisburg said. “Chris is still the employee and we still are responsible for paying the salary.”
The Heat and Chris Bosh are still at odds about his health and when he might be able to play again after missing significant time because of blood clots. League sources said Bosh definitely wants to play again, but it’s likely not to be in Miami. The Heat could waive Bosh, but if he played 25 games this season with another team, they would get no cap relief in doing so. The Heat could trade Bosh to a club that feels he could play immediately and push it to a championship level.
Landmark Sports founder and NBA agent Rob Pelinka has signed Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh for representation. Bosh had been represented by CAA Sports but left that agency in late September. The Heat announced in September that it was unable to clear Bosh to participate in basketball activities after a preseason physical. The Heat did not disclose the problem, but it has been widely reported that Bosh is suffering from blood clots.
Barry Jackson: Can confirm, as SB Journal reported, that Chris Bosh – who left CAA – is now repped by Kobe’s agent, Rob Pelinka. Still wants to play but no timetable for Bosh comeback attempt. And Heat and Bosh know it won’t be with Heat.
There have been amnesty clauses in the last two CBAs, allowing teams to waive players and have their salaries removed from the salary cap. This move would potentially deal a blow to the Miami Heat as they look for a solution to Chris Bosh, who is owed $75 million over the next three years.
At the moment, an attempted comeback next season is considered more likely (with another team, if he can find one to clear him medically), though it’s impossible for Bosh or anyone to know how soon he can play. Bosh is making no attempt, at this time, to force the issue and make the Heat release him.
The players union would consider getting involved only if Bosh decides in February or March that he wants to try to play immediately, and the Heat hasn’t yet released him. Regardless of all of this, it’s questionable if any team doctor will clear him. Pat Riley already has said that the Heat is no longer working toward a Bosh return to the court.
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September 28, 2021 | 6:58 pm EDT Update
Tim Bontemps: The NBA and NBPA are in the process of finalizing an agreement on COVID-19 health and safety protocols for the upcoming season, sources told ESPN.
Tim Bontemps: The impending agreement will cover the way vaccinated and unvaccinated players will be monitored, sources told ESPN. Unvaccinated players will have restrictions similar to what was in place last season, while vaccinated players largely won’t.
Tim Reynolds: The NBA has given teams a draft of the health and safety protocols for this season. As reported, unvaccinated players will be tested (almost) daily, vaccinated players will not be. Unvaxxed players will also be limited in how much they can be around vaxxed players in team areas.
The Denver Nuggets have agreed to a multi-year contract extension with forward Aaron Gordon, President of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly announced today.
Ben Anderson: Miye Oni said his mom told him he couldn’t declare for the NBA draft early unless he promised to graduate within five years. Said he has four classes left to finish his political science degree. Worked on it, along with his new rap album a lot over the summer.
Jay Allen: Chauncey Billups says he was “pretty bad” with the referees as a player. His daughter will be grading him each game on his interactions with the officials. What will happen if he gets a technical? “I’m pretty sure she’s going to make me pay her. She’s tough on me.” #RipCity
Fans wanting to attend Grizzlies games this season at FedExForum must present proof of having received at least one vaccination dose, or if they are 12 and over and unvaccinated, must present proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken at least 72 hours in advance, according to a team source on Tuesday.