Heat forward Chris Bosh fails physical, future in doubt
MIAMI, FL - FEBRUARY 7: Chris Bosh #1 of the Miami Heat handles the ball during the game against the Los Angeles Clippers on February 7, 2016 at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
MIAMI (AP) Chris Bosh's plan to resume playing is now in jeopardy, after medical examinations performed in recent days convinced the Miami Heat that he is not healthy enough to return to the court.
And Bosh may have provided a clue why.
The Heat announced Friday that they still cannot clear Bosh for a resumption of basketball activities, based on the result of his preseason physical – a series of tests conducted over the past few days. Their announcement came two days after Bosh revealed in the first chapter of a documentary series about his saga that he had multiple clots in February.
''The Miami Heat regret that it remains unable to clear Chris to return to basketball activities, and there is no timetable for his return,'' the team said Friday.
Late Friday, Bosh released a statement, saying ''little setbacks happen.''
''But that doesn't change my intentions and what I want to accomplish,'' Bosh said.
That statement was distributed by LeBron James' digital platform called Uninterrupted, the same site that Bosh worked with for the documentary. In a video posted there earlier this week, Bosh said a small clot was found in his leg this past February when he was in Toronto for the All-Star break, and that a CT scan later found the existence of at least one other clot.
Typically, CT scans are administered when clots are expected of having traveled to a lung – a very serious condition called a pulmonary embolism, which Bosh also had in February 2015 in his first bout against the problem that now threatens his career.
''I wouldn't be a friend if I didn't express to him my concerns,'' former Heat guard Dwyane Wade, now a member of the Chicago Bulls, told The Associated Press. ''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.'”
The next step for Bosh is unclear. The Heat will hold media day on Monday and their first practice of the post-Wade era in the Bahamas when training camp opens on Tuesday.
Bosh won't be on the floor for that practice, and likely not anytime soon – if ever. That means the Heat are for now down to just one player left from the team that played in the NBA Finals just two years ago, that being veteran forward Udonis Haslem.
''Hate to hear that about'' Chris Bosh, Oklahoma City's Enes Kanter tweeted Friday. ''I'm sorry brother. Praying for you my man.''
Everything about Bosh's future remains murky, and the Heat are unable to shed any light on their perspective, either. The team said it cannot comment further on Bosh's status because of a rule in the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement ''which precludes a team from releasing certain medical information without a player's consent.''
What figures to come in the next days, weeks and possibly months is more tension between the Heat and their highest-paid player, who'll make $76 million in the next three years whether he plays or not.
''I'm ready to play,'' Bosh said last week .
The Heat – as well as doctors in Miami and New York, where Bosh was earlier this week – do not agree.
There are mechanisms in the CBA that would allow Miami to get Bosh's salary off its cap number sometime next year if he cannot continue to play. But the Heat reiterated Friday that their goal for months has been to get Bosh back on the floor as quickly as possible.
Bosh's first bout with a clot was in February 2015, when one that was believed to have formed in one of his legs traveled to a lung and caused problems so severe that he needed to be hospitalized for several days.
He recovered and was averaging 19.1 points last season when the second bout with clots began this past February.
Bosh, in the podcast with Uninterrupted last week and the video on the site earlier this week, made minimal attempt to hide his frustration with Heat doctors – saying they work for the team and not the player, then adding that they told him in February that his career is likely over.
''I think that I have the right to disagree,'' Bosh said.
For now, any sort of agreement seems a long way off.