Miami Heat president Pat Riley told reporters Monday (Sept. 26) that Chris Bosh has likely played his final game with the team, providing a definitive statement on the star power forward’s status after months of relative silence regarding the matter.
Riley’s proclamation came days after the team announced Bosh would be held out of preseason training camp after failing a physical, which was caused by more evidence of blood clotting, an issue that has cut his last two seasons short.
“We feel that, based on the last exam, that his Heat career is probably over,” Riley said, per the Miami Herald. “I think Chris is still open-minded, but we are not working toward his return.”
After his second bout with blood clots in February, Bosh traveled the country to consult with numerous doctors to figure out a way to continue his playing career. Bosh ultimately found a doctor who formulated a strategy in which he could take blood thinning medication that would be out of his system before game time.
But the Heat’s medical staff considered the plan to be too risky – a sentiment shared by the majority of the medical community- and the disagreement on how to move forward noticeably strained the relationship between Bosh and the organization.
“He may not want to talk to me,” Riley said, per the Herald. “[But] he was contacted throughout the summer by Coach Spo, myself and [owner] Micky [Arison] and he decided not to talk to any of us until he was clear. That was his decision.”
Bosh is still guaranteed to receive the $76 million remaining on his contract, but that figure would not count against the Heat’s salary cap in the future should he be medically forced to retire. However, judging by his actions and comments, Bosh appears resolute in his desire to return to the court and will exhaust every option available to him, even if that means getting the NBA Players Association involved.
This may be the beginning of a long battle and it will be interesting to see how it unfolds.
Photo: Sports Illustrated