Chris Bosh penned a letter thanking the city of Miami and Heat fans for their support through his ongoing health ordeal with blood clots, and then took aim at Pat Riley and the Heat’s front office, making it clear he has no plans to retire any time soon.
In the fourth installment of his self-directed video Bosh Rebuilt on Uninterrupted.com, the 11-time All-star said he nearly broke his phone when he learned he had failed a physical last week and would not be coming with the team to training camp in the Bahamas.
Bosh was later even more surprised when he learned from his wife that Riley had told a handful of beat reporters an hour before media day on Monday the Heat was no longer working toward his return with the franchise.
“I want to tell Miami, everybody in Miami, this is not how I planned it to be,” Bosh said in the six-minute video segment released Friday afternoon shortly after his letter was featured on his blog.
“They don’t want to hear Dwyane’s gone. They don’t want to hear Chris is never going to play for the Miami Heat again. People don’t want to hear that. I just feel for the fans. I wanted to give them more. I wanted to give them something better. Because they deserve better than what they’re getting right now.
“[This] does not mean my NBA career is over. There [are] 29 other teams, there’s a whole league. One team does not make up the opinion of everything.”
On Monday, Riley said Bosh’s career with the Heat was probably over in light of his recent failed physical and ongoing bout with blood clots over the last 21 months. Ninety percent of the doctors the Heat had spoken to thought he would be on blood thinning medication the rest of his life.
Riley was upset Bosh, 32, had characterized the Heat as a franchise who had written him off without working long and hard with doctors to try and find a way to get Bosh back on the court. Riley said Bosh had closed the doors to communication with the team because he was angry with what team doctors and doctors were telling him.
Riley said the Heat’s decision had nothing to do with salary cap ramifications. If Bosh isn’t medically cleared by Feb. 9, the anniversary of his last game, the Heat can release him and apply with the league to receive his salary taken off the cap. It would clear $25.2 million off the cap for Riley to spend on other free agents next summer and another $27 million the year after.
Friday, in his video, Bosh responded by saying he was upset to learn via the media the Heat were giving up on him.
“I didn’t get a call or a text or anything like that,” Bosh said in the video shortly after his wife, Adrienne, broke the news to him. “I mean, it’s a business. We understand now. We always say those things. But, if you say certain things to a person and you win championships and you have these moments, you don’t want find things out through the media.
“It’s kind of tough man. We say all these things, the commitment, brotherhood, and all these things and then for whatever reason… I find out like this. You know it hurts.”
A Heat spokesman reiterated on Friday that Riley called, texted and emailed Bosh and his representatives last week trying to set up a meeting. The spokesman said neither Bosh nor his representatives responded to any of Riley’s messages.
Bosh said he felt like Monday’s news was a “higher power” telling him not to give up. “If you look at the way things are going with the organization and everything, maybe just right now isn’t your time to play basketball,” Bosh said. “And that’s kind of how I took it. So, I hear the message loud and clear and I’m just trying to work through it as best as I can.”
In his letter to fans, Bosh wrote “all I have right now associated with basketball are my friends and memories. And I’m so thankful for those things. I remember just a few years ago when the Big 3 were together and we were having a ball playing the game we love with some of the most professional, talented guys the NBA has ever seen.
“I remember the fans of Miami coming out to see the show every night. The love, the compassion and the energy we felt was second to none. I want to thank the city of Miami from the bottom of my heart because things may change but the good times will last forever in my memories. Thank you!”