Chris Bosh hasn’t played an NBA game since complications from recurring blood clots took him off the court midway through the 2015-16 season. But in a Feb. 15 appearance on ESPN’s First Take, the 11-time All-Star dispelled the notion that he’s done playing basketball at the professional level.
“Aye, I’ve been in the gym. I can still play basketball. No I’m not done yet,” Bosh said to Stephen A. Smith. “Yeah I’m trying to come back. Man, I see all these guys shooting threes and not playing defense. Man, I mean I gotta get some of it. I watch the guys playing now, it’s amazing. Now, it’s like you shoot threes and you can whiff on a screen-and-roll and it’s all good. So, I think I can do [that].”
In his heyday, Bosh was a dominant inside-outside power forward who guided the Toronto Raptors to back-to-back playoff appearances in 2008 and 2009. He was a perennial 20-point, 10-rebound forward who was one of the first modern day bigs to expand his mid-range jump-shooting ability out beyond the three-point line. He later joined Dwyane Wade and LeBron James in Miami, playing an integral role in the Heat’s repeat NBA championships in 2012 and 2013.
In February 2015, Bosh was ruled out for the season after doctors confirmed a blood clot had traveled from his calf to his lung. He returned and played 53 games in the 2015-16 season, only for doctors to rediscover blood clots in his body once again, this time before it traveled to his lungs.
Doctors never cleared Bosh to return to action after his second run in with a serious health complication. His illness was later ruled career-ending, and the Heat waived him (and announced plans to retire his No. 1 jersey) after he missed the entire 2016-17 season.
Despite health complications in back-to-back seasons, Bosh has never wavered in his desire to return to NBA action. After Heat doctors told him he wouldn’t be able to play basketball again, he hired his own set of doctors for a second opinion.
“I felt right away that I was written off,” he said in an episode of Rebuilt, a docu-series that charted his attempt to get back to the court. “It was so just like put it to the side, matter-of-factly. If a doctor tells me, ‘Hey, that’s it and this is how it is,’ and I don’t buy that, I think that I have the right to disagree with you.”
Bosh even felt he would be able to play in the 2016-17 season, but the Heat – with word from their team doctors – did not agree. It was a particularly ugly standoff and an unceremonious ending to a career that helped bring two championships to South Beach.
Still, Bosh thinks he can play. At 33 years old, a healthy Bosh can still probably serve as a stretch four who can still switch onto some smaller players in spots. There are teams that would line up for a player of his caliber.
The key word here, though, is “healthy.” If he’s going to make a return, that part will be non-negotiable and a big, big if.
Source: SB Nation
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Inset Image: ESPN/Getty Images