Heat president Pat Riley spoke and Chris Bosh apparently listened.
Late Thursday night after the NBA Draft was nearing its conclusion, Riley met with reporters for the teams final exit interview of its 2012 season. Among myriad topics covered by Riley, he offered his opinion on whether or not Bosh should play in the Olympics. While Riley didnt forbid Bosh from playing for Team USA this summer in London, the Heats president let it be known he wanted Bosh to weigh his options carefully.
Chris is still nursing an injury, Riley said. He had a significant abdominal injury. If we werent in the playoffs against Boston, he probably would not have played for another three or four weeks.
He feels OK. Chris has represented his country already. Thats up to him.
Less than 24 hours later, Bosh withdrew his name from consideration for the USA Basketball Mens National Team. Team USA meets in Las Vegas for training camp July 6-12. After consulting with doctors, Bosh determined the days between the end of the Finals and the start of Olympic training offered too tight a window for his still sore abdominal muscle.
Agent Henry Thomas, who represents both Bosh and Dwyane Wade, said on Friday that Bosh is upset about missing an opportunity to represent his country on the worlds stage but also must consider the possibility of a lingering injury that could affect next season. Bosh played center throughout the playoffs, and hell likely resume that role in some form next season. The rigors of playing the position weighed into his decision to miss the Olympics.
A precursor to the Heats 2010 free agent coup, the 2008 Beijing Games are where Bosh, Wade and LeBron James first formed a bond on the court. Four years later, James is the only member of the Heats Big 3 preparing to play in the 2012 London Games. Wade removed his name from the Olympic player pool Thursday after learning his left knee would require offseason surgery.
[Wade] has played with a style over the years that might not be conducive to longevity, Riley said. Hes always on the floor, always above the rim. We want to make sure whats ailing him will be corrected this summer.
At age 30, Wade must reinvent his game this offseason, according to Riley. During his exit interview, Wade hinted at such a transformation when he revealed his plans to work with a shooting coach for the first time this summer. In addition to the shooting, Riley said Wade must also master other elements: health, athletic, weight and conditioning.
Hes got to re-center everything, get himself aligned and healthy, Riley said. There isnt anyone thats played the game like him for nine years that hasnt had some issues knee surgeries, knee problems. He hasnt had anything, aside from the shoulder separation, thats really, really debilitating.
While Boshs goal is to get plenty of rest this offseason and Wades plan is to refashion his approach, the Heats younger players will be focusing on the fundamentals of the Heats system in the Las Vegas summer league, which begins July 13. Rookie point guard Norris Cole and second-year center Dexter Pittman were robbed of the summer league last year because of the NBA lockout. Joining Cole and Pittman in Las Vegas will be former Mississippi State center Jarvis Varnado, who the Heat selected in the second round of the 2010 draft, as well as the teams latest second-round selection, center Justin Hamilton of LSU.