Fi­nally, farewell: Bosh, Heat for­mally part ways

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - SPORTS -

MI­AMI — Chris Bosh’s time with the Mi­ami Heat is of­fi­cially over.

Weeks af­ter the sides came to a fi­nal agree­ment on how to part ways and more than a year since his last NBA ap­pear­ance be­cause of blood clot is­sues, Bosh was waived by the Heat on Tues­day. The move was a for­mal­ity. It gives Mi­ami ac­cess to $25.3 mil­lion in salary cap space for this com­ing sea­son, which the Heat will use to sign free agents, start­ing on Thurs­day.

Bosh still gets that salary, plus $26.8 mil­lion for next sea­son, and in the­ory could con­tinue his ca­reer — if an­other team de­clares him fit to play.

But at least there’s fi­nally clo­sure on his Mi­ami era, and the Heat an­nounced his No 1 jer­sey has been re­tired.

“Chris changed his life and bas­ket­ball ca­reer when he came to Mi­ami,” Heat pres­i­dent Pat Ri­ley said.

“And he changed our lives for the bet­ter, in a way we never would have imag­ined when he joined the Heat. We will for­ever be in­debted to CB for how he changed this team and led us to four trips to the NBA Fi­nals and two NBA cham­pi­onships.

“He is, with­out a doubt, one of the great­est play­ers in the his­tory of the fran­chise.”

Bosh signed a five-year deal to stay with the Heat in 2014, shortly af­ter LeBron James left Mi­ami for a re­turn to Cleve­land.

James, Bosh and Dwyane Wade went to the NBA Fi­nals in all four of their sea­sons to­gether in Mi­ami, winning ti­tles in 2012 and 2013.

Bosh’s last Mi­ami deal was for $118 mil­lion. For that, he was able to play just 97 games.

“You al­ways want what’s best for Chris, what­ever that is,” Heat cap­tain Udo­nis Haslem said ear­lier this year. “I know how dif­fi­cult this has been for him.”

Bosh ap­peared in 44 games in 2014-15, his sea­son end­ing at the All-Star break when the first known clot episode started.

A year later, he played in 53 games and — in an eerie sim­i­lar­ity — his sea­son again ended at All-Star week­end, when an­other clot was found shortly af­ter he landed in Toronto for the All-Star Game.

Bosh hasn’t played since, miss­ing Mi­ami’s last 125 games.

“I’m kind of get­ting the taste of re­tire­ment now,” Bosh said in Jan­uary.

He wanted to re­turn last sea­son, but failed a pre­sea­son phys­i­cal and the Heat made clear that they were mov­ing on with­out him in their plans.

Be­cause of the sen­si­tiv­ity of Bosh’s med­i­cal sit­u­a­tion, the Heat never could pro­vide specifics. Un­der league rules, any mat­ter that could po­ten­tially rise to the level of be­ing lifethreat­en­ing can­not be dis­cussed openly by teams with­out the player’s spe­cific con­sent.

Even the team’s re­lease on Tues­day an­nounc­ing the waiv­ing made no ref­er­ence to Bosh’s health is­sues, or sta­tus.

Bosh played in 13 NBA sea­sons, seven with Toronto and then six with Mi­ami.

He was part of Mi­ami’s mas­sive free agent haul in 2010, when the Heat not only re­tained Wade but landed James to form some­thing that team pres­i­dent Pat Ri­ley felt could turn into some­thing dy­nas­tic.

AP

Chris Bosh, who missed 125 con­sec­u­tive games for the Mi­ami Heat with blood clot is­sues, was re­leased by the team on Tues­day but will still be paid $52 mil­lion over the next two years.

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