The past two seasons have come to an early end for Miami Heat forward/center Chris Bosh at 44 and 53 games respectably due to blood clot around on one of his lungs in that was discovered back in Feb., 2015 and in his left leg in Feb. 2016. He sat out at the end of this past season on the recommendation of physicians and the Heat organization because of the potential dangers of a reoccurrence of the current condition. Bosh and the organization felt very optimistic that he would return in time for the start of the 2016-17 NBA campaign, but those thoughts of optimism hit a serious road block at the start of last weekend.
The Heat announced this past Friday that the 11-time All-Star who along with current Cleveland Cavaliers forward and current Chicago Bulls guard Dwyane Wade help lead the organization to four straight trips to The NBA Finals and two straight titles in 2012 and 2013 failed his physical and will not be able to be a part of the Heat’s training camp in any capacity.
According to NBA.com and The South Florida Sun Sentinel, Bosh, 31 suffered a recurrence of the aforementioned blood clotting.
To add insult to injury, Heat President Pat Riley said on Monday morning at the team’s media day that Bosh’s time with the team is “probably over.”
The NBA’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) though has a rule in it that, “precludes a team from releasing certain medical information without a player’s consent.”
This brings a bitter end to the NBA’s version of the Super Friends as James left the team to return to the Cavs, who he led to the NBA title back in June and Wade, who in a shocker of the off-season left in free agency to sign with the Chicago Bulls.
“This business is tough. The personal relationships and the things that happen that you can’t control. Everybody knows how much CB means to me and his family” Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra said in a press conference on Monday.
“I love CB dearly. It’s tough to watch CB and his family go through this the last couple of years. Your heart just goes out to him… CB was always the guy I would go, especially on those championship teams. I just really always trusted his perspective. My love for him and his family won’t change.”
As far as the future for the team, Spoelstra said he has clarity of who is going to be a part of training camp in the Bahamas and that the focus will be on the 19 players who will take part.
As for Bosh, he stated on the digital platform distributed by James Uninterrupted that, “little setbacks happen. But that doesn’t change my intentions and what I want to accomplish.”
That accomplishment of getting back on the court for Bosh more than likely will not occur with the Heat and that means there will be more tension over the coming days, weeks and very likely months between the organization and their highest-paid player, who in the summer of 2014 signed a five-year $118 million max contract that has three years and $76 million dollars left on it.
Thanks to certain mechanisms in the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), the Heat would be allowed to remove Bosh’s salary from their cap sometime in 2017 if he is unable to play.
The team did reiterate this past Friday though the goal this whole time has been to get Bosh back on the court as soon as possible.
While getting back on the court is something important to Bosh, it is also important for him to understand that there is more to this than just his career. He has a wonderful better half in Adrienne Williams, who he married in 2011 and they have five children together.
“I wouldn’t be a friend if I didn’t express to him my concerns. To me, the biggest thing is Chris has five kids and a wife and a family that depends on him being there. To me, that’s always most important. I told him, ‘Make sure you focus on that first,” Wade said of his former teammate.
Bosh though has not closed the book on his NBA career and mentioned on an Uninterrupted podcast a week ago that he had been tirelessly researching information about blood clots and the ability for a professional athlete to continue playing despite having them. He also said that he found doctors that told him he could continue playing basketball on a program of blood thinners.
“It’s just a matter of time,” Bosh said on that podcast last week. “I’m not the first—and that’s the best part about this—I’m not the first athlete to do this regimen.”
Among those who found a way to play after dealing with blood clots include NHL’s Tomas Fleischmann and Pascal Dupuis and tennis legend Serena Williams.
Fleischmann played for six consecutive seasons after being diagnosed with blood clots while with the Washington Capitals. He played pretty well during this time with the Colorado Avalanche and Florida Panthers, but this earlier this month, he flunked a physical performed by his new team the Minnesota Wild.
Another NHL player Pascal Dupuis developed a blood clot, a pulmonary embolism in his lung that occurred after a collision with his Pittsburgh Penguins teammate Sydney Crosby that tore Dupuis’s ACL, MCL and PCL. The blood clot spread from his calf initially.
While he rehabbed as able to return to the ice at the start of the NHL season two seasons ago after being put on blood thinners for six months, Dupuis developed another embolism in his lung. He was placed back on blood thinners and missed the remainder of the season.
The 36-year-old Dupuis came back for one more seasons with the Penguins, but this comeback was cut short back on Dec. 1, 2015 and was shut down the rest of the season.
He stayed with the organization as a coach unofficially and was on the ice when the team captured the Stanly Cup this past June.
Perennial tennis champion Serena Williams was shelved for much of 2011 after she was rushed to a hospital to have multiple embolisms in her lungs handled.
She managed to come back and has won nine more major titles since, tying a tennis legend in her own right Steffi Graf with 22 major wins, the most in the Open era, which includes this past year’s Wimbledon Championships.
James’ other former teammate Anderson Varejao in 2013 was shut down after a blood clot was found in his lung. He managed to comeback and played two of the last three seasons, with his latest team the Golden State Warriors.
While none of these successful returns from blood clot or blood clots will have a bearing on what happens to Bosh, he does know that it can be done
If this is Chris Bosh’s swan song, he accomplished more in 14 seasons than most players do in their entire career. He has averaged 19.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game on 49.4 percent shooting from the floor in his career. Bosh garnered as mentioned before 11 All-Star selections; led the Heat to four straight Finals appearances and two straight titles; is the Toronto Raptors all-time leading scorer, where he spent the first seven years of his career; was a part of the 2008 USA Men’s Basketball team that captured the Gold medal in Beijing and as a collegiate at Georgia Tech, the former Mr. Basketball of Texas in 2002 was the American Coastal Conference (ACC) Rookie of the Year in 2003.
“I have full confidence,” Bosh said in the aforementioned podcast last week before flunking his physical. “Yeah, I’ll be there. Will I be cleared, I don’t know. But that’s out of my hands. But I will play basketball in the NBA. I’m confident.”
Information, statistics and quotations are courtesy of 9/23/16 www.nba.com article, “Bosh Fails Physical, Not Cleared For Training Camp,” by Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press; 9/23/16 8 p.m. ESPN Bottom Line news crawl, NBA section; 9/26/16 www.nba.com’s Morning Tip: Bosh’s Return Remains Murky Amid Blood Clots by NBA Insider for NBATV/NBA on TNT David Aldridge and http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Bosh.