It’s looked inevitable for about a year now, ever since he failed his preseason physical last September, and now it is indeed official: the Miami Heat have waived Chris Bosh. This will probably be the final, sad note to what was a remarkable career.
Here’s what team president Pat Riley—whom Bosh has publicly criticized during this incredibly difficult period for both parties as they’ve attempted to navigate the blood clot problems that have plagued Bosh the past couple years—had to say in a statement that announced the move and the team’s plan to retire Bosh’s jersey:
“Chris changed his life and basketball career when he came to Miami,” said HEAT President Pat Riley. “And he changed our lives for the better, in a way we never would have imagined, when he joined the Miami 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. The number “1” will never be worn by another player and we can’t wait to someday hang his jersey in the rafters. Today, we are both moving on but we wish Chris, Adrienne and their family nothing but the best. They will forever be part of the Miami HEAT family.”
The Heat waived Bosh today, a month after a doctor sanctioned by the league and the players association declared Bosh’s blood clot problems a career-ending injury according to the terms of NBA’s new CBA. That designation means that while the Heat will continue paying Bosh the rest of his 2 year, $52 million contract (most of it covered by insurance), the contract will no longer count against their salary cap. It also means that while Bosh’s career isn’t necessarily over, the CBA-mandated hoops he’ll have to jump through to gain readmission to the league make it extremely unlikely that he suits up to play in the NBA ever again.
The 33-year-old Bosh’s career to this point has spanned 12 season, 11 of which he played in. He was a dominating force for the vast majority of that time, one of the most skilled big men of his era. What especially sucks about his situation is that, as great as his career had already been, he still most likely had much more top-level basketball left in him. Even when he did return to the court for the first part of the 2015-16 season after his blood clot problems kept him out of the back half of the prior season, he looked just as good as ever. Not only that, but Bosh clearly still has the desire to play again, but hasn’t been able to get the medical clearance that would allow him to play and thrive and bring his career to a close on his own terms.
It’s a shame that it’s come to this, but on the brighter side, his spectacular NBA career could’ve had a much worse ending.