05/04 18:08 CDT Bosh officially declared out for remainder of Heat season
Bosh officially declared out for remainder of Heat season
By TIM REYNOLDS
AP Basketball Writer
MIAMI (AP) --- Chris Bosh's season is now officially over, regardless of how
far the Miami Heat advance in the postseason.
The Heat and Bosh made the announcement Wednesday afternoon after the team
practiced in Toronto, ending the recent speculation that Bosh would try to
return to the court during the playoffs.
Bosh has not played since the All-Star break after a blood clot was discovered
in his left leg. It's the second consecutive year that Bosh's season ended at
the break because of problems with clotting, and the joint statement came one
day after the National Basketball Players Association urged Bosh and the team
to resolve any issues they have about his immediate future.
"The Miami Heat and Chris Bosh announce that Chris will not be playing in the
remainder of the 2016 NBA Playoffs," read the statement. "The Heat, Chris, the
doctors and medical team have been working together throughout this process and
will continue to do so to return Chris to playing basketball as soon as
Bosh is expected to remain with the team throughout the remainder of the
playoffs --- helping his teammates however he can. And while the statement
finally provides resolution on his short-term status, it remains unknown if he
has dealt with any other clots or if he remains on blood thinners.
"This has been going on since February," Heat guard Dwyane Wade said in Toronto
on Wednesday, before the announcement. "All we know is that he's taking care of
himself, health-wise, and that's all we care about."
Miami leads Toronto 1-0 in the Eastern Conference semifinals, with Game 2 set
Bosh was averaging a team-best 19.1 points at the break, when the clot was
found after he arrived in Toronto --- the city where he spent his first seven
NBA seasons --- for the All-Star weekend. He went through the All-Star media
day rigors on Friday of that weekend knowing he couldn't play in the game, and
the reason initially cited was a calf strain.
Days later, it became known that it was much worse --- though not as severe as
in 2015, when a clot on one of his lungs caused so much pain and other problems
that Bosh needed to be hospitalized. And when the team began its post-All-Star
schedule this season in Atlanta, coach Erik Spoelstra said players addressed
what they would miss about Bosh not being available to play.
"We talked about what we are going to miss the most about CB and it wasn't end
of possession, throw it to him and he can get you a shot or defensive
rotations," Spoelstra said Wednesday. "It was his leadership and his voice. Now
he's around the team, he still provides that, and it's a powerful thing."
Bosh has blogged several times in recent weeks (topics including pairing beer
with barbecue, sneaker collecting and Kobe Bryant), thrown out a few Snapchats
including last week one of him shooting jumpers, even tweeted that Heat
teammates like Wade and Goran Dragic are his heroes after recent wins.
But he hasn't mentioned his health, and there's many unanswered questions.
Has the highest-paid Heat player, someone with three years and about $77
million left on his deal, had more clots than he's revealed? Have others formed
since the one was found in February? Does he have any now? Did he attempt to
play through them this season? Is he still on blood thinners? Have any doctors
told him that he should not continue playing basketball?
If the Heat know, they're not saying. And in this case, their silence may speak
It's not a privacy violation for a team to reveal that a player sprained an
ankle or twisted a knee. But per the collective bargaining agreement, when it
comes to "potentially life- or career-threatening" matters, a team cannot say
anything without consent of the player or his family.
On the Heat injury report, the reason for Bosh's absence is blank. If he had a
common injury, it would be listed.
"We know we're missing a huge part of our team," Wade said.
Bosh still has impact, clearly.
The Heat wasted a 10-point lead late in Game 1, then went to overtime when
Toronto's Kyle Lowry made a halfcourt shot at the end of regulation. Bosh's
words to the Heat going into overtime, his teammates said, helped them get back
on track and win the game.
"It makes you come out and just do a little bit more, because you've got
somebody who would kill to be out there, who would do anything just to be on
the floor," Wade said. "I take that into every game with me, for sure."
AP freelance writer Ian Harrison in Toronto contributed to this report.