Chris Bosh Retirement May Prove To Be The Only Real Option

Commentary6 years ago6 min readGreg Sylvander
chris bosh retirement

The Miami Heat’s playoff run came to a screeching halt over the weekend and as I reflect back on the season that just finished, I am filled with pride, happiness and a sense of satisfaction.

Rarely does losing a Game 7 as a Heat fan breed positive vibes. But that was the case in yesterday’s defeat to the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference semifinals.

In the midst of all of the ups and downs of playoff basketball, the late game heroics we watched from Dwyane Wade and the gut-wrenching losses to stress over, I found myself using all of that drama as a coping mechanism for a much more difficult, sobering topic. A topic we all want to avoid and wish wasn’t real.

The next statement I make will be one that comes with a deep breath, a bout of extreme nausea and innate regret – even if it apparently rings true.

It would be best for the Miami Heat organization if Chris Bosh decides to retire from the game of basketball.

Gulp.

That one hurts man. It isn’t supposed to end like this, not for guys like Chris Bosh. Not for an organization that has already experienced this extreme form of heartbreak before in 2000 with Alonzo Mourning.

After Sunday, Wade discussed the last two seasons as feeling “snake bitten” with the injuries, specifically the one to Bosh. We don’t deserve that snake bite. Nobody does, but especially not us.

However, the more I mull over the situation the organization is presented with as it relates to Chris Bosh, the more I find myself ending up back in the place I keep trying to find an avenue to avoid.

I am not going to spend time acting like I know all of the details surrounding Bosh’s medical condition. I am also not going to judge Bosh’s desire to play, or his family’s support behind that decision. Who the hell am I to question any of that? I don’t have all the information. None of us do.

I also don’t wish to exhaust the emotional and moral angles involved with the organization clearing him to play basketball when he is at any level of risk.

We all love Chris Bosh, and we all want nothing bad to happen to him. We all wish he could play basketball forever. Point blank. Period.

That being said, I think it is reasonable to assume that after having two years cut short by the same type of medical issue, that this is something which has a possibility of reoccurrence. I don’t think that is reckless speculation on my part.

So, with just that tidbit of information, ask yourself, how can the organization practically build a roster with the level of planning required to build a championship contender? How can you do so with your highest paid, best player doubling as the sport’s largest question mark?

The Miami HEAT organization is about family. That will never change. But this is also a business. A family business may be the best way to describe it from the HEAT’s perspective.

A free agent bonanza is on the horizon this summer, with an even more epic free agency period to follow in the summer of 2017.

bosh retirement

Chris Bosh of the Miami Heat looks on during Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2014 NBA Playoffs against the Brooklyn Nets at AmericanAirlines Arena on May 6, 2014 in Miami, FL.

If Bosh were to come back and play next season, and somehow have a third consecutive season derailed by blood clots, it would compromise any level of flexibility that you might be awarded, even if bittersweet, in the event of a necessary Chris Bosh retirement.

Again, you end up in a place where Bosh being back on the court is accompanied by almost no practical reason why it makes sense for the organization to clear him to play.

To more immediate concerns, how can you feel comfortable committing a max contract to Hassan Whiteside if you don’t know if Bosh is going to be available?

On the surface, it would appear the decision is an easy one. Bosh’s status being up in the air makes keeping Whiteside extremely crucial. We can’t lose both of our big men, right?

But practically, if we operate under the assumption Bosh will indeed play and have seen that Whiteside-Bosh is not an ideal combination next to one another, is planning to spend big on Whiteside really the best allocation of funds?

Even if you were to assume Whiteside is going to prove to be too expensive, and you want to go in another direction. Is spending big money on Al Horford the best allocation of resources if Bosh is available?

If you decide Bosh is coming back so there is no need to spend on ANY big man, what happens if blood clots return? What are you left with? How long will it take the franchise to recover? And so on and so forth.

I can provide dozens of hypothetical scenarios. They all wreak of uncertainty and unreliability. Are you catching my drift here?

Pat Riley can’t sit across the table from the marquee free agents available the next two off-seasons with a bag full of rings to throw on the table only to see them all fall on the floor next to the garbage can filled with maybes, question marks and what ifs.

Sure, the scenario where Chris Bosh never gets another blood clot and plays out the rest of his career with no issues is the best case. It would be what’s best for everyone on and off the court. But is it realistic? How realistic? And do you make that gamble if you are the HEAT, in the final chapter of Wade and possibly Riley’s tenure?

Maybe you do. Maybe you hope for the best and live with the results. But make no mistake, if you do, that will be the heart making that decision, certainly not the head.

This may be one of the few cases where healing the snake bite of the last two years does not involve cutting off the head of the snake, but instead removing the heart.