The difference of opinion between Chris Bosh and the Miami Heat regarding his treatment and potential return from blood clots, which has been playing out behind the scenes, has finally gone public.
Bosh’s wife, Adrienne, started it Tuesday night when she responded to a social media post by Miami Herald columnist Ethan Skolnick on Twitter with the phrase #BringBoshBack. Skolnick had pointed out during Miami’s Game 4 loss in Charlotte how the Heat was “really missing Bosh” and Adrienne responded to that tweet.
Later Tuesday, Bosh posted a video of himself on Snapchat shooting at AmericanAirlines Arena and bemoaning how much he misses the game.
For months now, both the Heat and Bosh have maintained a code of silence publicly. The Heat has been the more cautious party, making it known behind the scenes that just because an outside doctor clears the 11-time All-Star, it doesn’t mean the team will be comfortable letting him play.
On Wednesday, the team responded to Bosh’s social media statements the same way it has for months now with a spokesman telling reporters prior to Game 5: “For those of you curious, there’s no update on Chris Bosh. He’s out indefinitely.”
Sidelined since Feb. 9, Bosh hasn’t directly commented on his health since he released a statement through his publicist on March 11 saying then he did “not have deep-vein thrombosis,” that he was working with the Heat for “the best precautionary treatment,” and that he remained “positive that I will be able to return this season.”
But since then, sources have told the Miami Herald that Bosh and the Heat have not been aligned in terms of course of treatment and length of absence. Bosh has told associates he has no plans to retire either.
Tuesday’s social media comments by Bosh and his wife can be considered the first public sign they’re bothered by the Heat’s unwavering position.
“I can’t take this talent at 32 years old and say, ‘Ah well, I’m going to be a clerk in a board room now,’ ” Bosh told ESPN’s Rachel Nichols at the All-Star break. “That doesn’t make any sense. I can play this game. I still can. I have plenty of more years to do that at a high level. This is what I’m supposed to be doing.”
Teammate Goran Dragic said he sat next to Bosh on the team flight home from Charlotte on Monday. It was the first time Bosh had flown with the team’s chartered flight and been on the road with them since being sidelined. Dragic said they talked strategy mostly.
“He didn’t talk about [how badly he wants to play],” Dragic said. “But you can see it. He’s emotional like he’s playing. He knows we were working hard for this the whole season. Everybody understands he wants to be [out] there, and we want him to be there. But sometimes it’s tough because he’s such a competitor he wants to help us. It’s hard to be on that sideline.”
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said in Charlotte that having Bosh around the team is like having another assistant coach on the bench. Rookies Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson said Bosh has helped them with small in-game adjustments.
“Pretty much every game [when] he’s on the bench there’s always going to be a moment that we kind of exchange [ideas] about something that happened on the court,” Richardson said. “It’s nothing big or crazy. But he’s just giving us small pieces to think about or to do better.”
Dragic said his talk on the plane ride home with Bosh provided some fresh ideas for Game 5.
“It’s good to have CB with us,” Dragic said.
“He has so much experience. He’s won championships, played a lot of playoff games. So he knows how to defend, how to make it tougher on other guys. [He] definitely helps.”