The All-Star forward has won two titles but is fighting to get back on the court
It’s understandable why a professional athlete would balk when his own general manager publicly states that his career with the team is over, but in the case of 32-year-old Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat, it’s the only decent move the team could make.
For the past two years, Chris Bosh, married and a father of five, has been plagued by blood clots that have kept him in and out of the Heat’s rotation. Sidelined since last year’s All-Star game, Bosh was hoping to receive a clean bill of health last week and rejoin his team.
Sadly, that didn’t happen.
Bosh failed his September physical and shortly thereafter the Miami Heat abandoned any efforts to see him rejoin the team. When asked if Miami was working towards seeing Chris Bosh return, GM Pat Riley said simply, "We are not. I think Chris is still open-minded. But we are not working toward his return. We feel that, based on the last exam, that his Heat career is probably over."
While it would appear that there’s little that Bosh can do to find his way back to his former team, he remains optimistic (likely to his own detriment) that he’ll return to the court in some capacity. Over the weekend he Tweeted:
#BoshRebuilt is a hashtag that adorns a flurry of activity from his account over the past few days. While the meaning behind it remains nebulous, it’s not hard to see how many would view it as a sign that Bosh is eying a return to basketball.
Bosh’s tenacity is admirable, but in this instance, it’s also misguided. His blood clot isn’t tantamount to a shot knee or a shoulder injury. By virtually all accounts, this issue is a life-and-death matter, and the strain put on his body by continuing to play could send him to an early grave. Pat Riley has proven to be a cutthroat and savvy competitor in his coaching career, but it’s impossible for the Heat GM in good conscience to continue down this dangerous road with Bosh.
Riley’s blunt statement may not just be a “tough love” approach to parting ways, but may serve to ultimately save Bosh from himself. There are likely NBA teams (or international ones) that are desperate or unscrupulous enough to take on an ailing player thanks to both his on-court talent and drawing power. But Riley’s comments, in no uncertain terms, loudly set a precedent that will draw criticism and attention to any future Bosh suitors.
Ultimately, the choice is Bosh’s and his alone. It’s his health, his life, and his family. But Pat Riley and the Heat had the obligation to shove him in the right direction by closing the door on his return.