Miami Heat fans welcome the three kings
Chris Bosh confirmed this week what was long suspected: He has played his final NBA game.
Bosh told The Ringer’s Bill Simmons in a podcast: “That part of my life is over. That has been a tough thing to deal with, but I’m good, which has taken a long time [for me to accept]… I could have kept playing. But man, that time has passed. I’ve made the decision not to pursue it anymore.”
Bosh, 34, hasn’t appeared in a game since scoring 18 points in a loss to the Spurs on Feb. 9, 2016. Shortly after that, doctors discovered a recurrence of blood clots that also had aborted his previous season at the All-Star break.
Bosh wanted to return to the Heat for the 2016-17 season and play while taking blood thinners, but the Heat was concerned about results of a medical exam before training camp that season and told him he would not be cleared to play.
After that, Bosh spoke of resuming his career elsewhere, but that never materialized. And though the Heat’s decision not to permit Bosh to play created friction at the time, their relationship has been repaired, and the Heat announced earlier this month that it will retire Bosh’s jersey during a ceremony at halftime of the March 26 home game against the Orlando Magic.
Bosh, selected by the Raptors with the fourth pick of the 2003 Draft, closed his career with averages of 19.2 points and 8.5 rebounds in 13 seasons, the first seven with Toronto and final six with the Heat.
He also averaged 15.6 points and 7.5 rebounds in 89 playoff games and helped the Heat win two NBA championships and play in four NBA Finals.
Bosh, an 11-time All-Star, stands 93rd on the NBA’s all-time scoring list.
Heat forward Ryan Anderson was pleased to make his Heat debut late in Monday’s loss in Denver, even though it was a mere 1:53 of game action. He had one assist and didn’t attempt a shot or score a point.
Anderson appeared in only 15 games and 278 minutes for Phoenix this season being traded to Miami last week in a deal that sent Tyler Johnson and Wayne Ellington to the Suns. Johnson is now starting for Phoenix; Ellington was waived and signed with Detroit.
“It felt good to get out there,” said Anderson, who has averaged 12.5 points and shot 38 percent on three-pointers in 638 NBA games. “I’m just happy to be with this group. Seeing how hard they play, how much they want to win is so refreshing to me.”
Erik Spoelstra said the Heat will work on Anderson’s conditioning, and Anderson — who appears to be in good shape — said he’s on a diet plan.
“There is a Miami Heat standard that no other team I’ve played on has this type of elite level conditioning, which is amazing,” he said. ”I’ve been doing workouts every day. My conditioning I feel pretty good about.”
Anderson, 30, has received no assurances about playing time. But he disputes any notion that his skills have diminished, even though his playing time has decreased since averaging 17.0 points for New Orleans in 2015-16 and 13.6 for Houston in 2016-17.
“I know that’s something people say, but it couldn’t be more false,” he said. “I’ve gone from teams where I shot 14, 15 shots a game to six or seven shots. My last year in Houston, I got injured and then I didn’t play. I was getting maybe six shots a game that season. This year, there was no consistency in playing time.
“I’m a role player. That’s why I fit really well into this system. I’m not a one-on-one player. I’ve been on two teams the past two years in Phoenix and my last year in Houston where it’s all one-on-ones. My game is shooting the ball, pick and pop.”
He said he can seize on mismatches in the post, but “I probably had a handful of postups the past two years. It’s a bit frustrating when people say [his skills have declined].”
The expectation is that the Heat likely will release Anderson by July 10 — a move that lessens his salary and cap hit from $21 million to $15.6 million next season. Anderson said he hasn’t spoken to Heat president Pat Riley since the trade.
“I want to bring the best version of myself to this team,” he said. “I will be able to shoot the ball until I’m 80 years old. I know I can bring that, but most of all, I want to add to this group and make it a better team.”