The divorce between the Miami Heat and Chris Bosh was ugly. The Hall of Famer wanted to extend his career in South Beach despite a life-threatening blood-clot diagnosis. Doctors ruled it too risky and the Heat waived him against Bosh’s screams to keep playing.
Heat president Pat Riley made the final call to move on from the 11-time All-Star, a decision that protected Bosh’s health while granting the organization some much-needed salary-cap relief. The fallout led to Bosh and Riley not being on speaking terms for years. Not anymore. Riley will walk Bosh down the aisle on Saturday night and stand next to him as he gets inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.
“I think all of us, when we get to a certain point in our lives, we want to make things right,” Riley told Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel. “Chris’ was an entirely different situation because I admired and respected him so much as a player and as a person, and it was such an incredible point in time for me, about Chris’ condition, not about whether he could play or not play for us.”
The healing began in March 2019 when the Heat welcomed Bosh back to Miami to retire his No. 1 Heat jersey. The savvy executive and legendary player hashed things out while drinking wine on the beach in Malibu, per Winderman. Riley said they got back to “being people again.” Staying friends with his former star players has always been paramount.
“I do not ever want to run into Shaquille [O’Neal] or run into Dwyane [Wade] or into Magic [Johnson] or Chris [Bosh] somewhere and not be able to go up and give ‘em a hug,” Riley told Winderman. “That’s not how I’m going to end my career, my life.”
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Future Coaching Role for Bosh?
Bosh played alongside Dwyane Wade and LeBron James as part of the Big Three’s two championship teams. It was arguably the most fun ride in the history of Miami sports. Since then, Wade retired and took an ownership stake in the Utah Jazz while James continues to chase titles with the Los Angeles Lakers.
Bosh, of course, will enter basketball immortality on Saturday. And he hasn’t ruled out a return to the game he loves in a teaching capacity.
“I don’t want to put any closure on it,” Bosh said of his career, via the Sun Sentinel. “Some sort of front-office or coaching situation, I don’t want to throw dirt on it and say, ‘that’s it.’ All I will say that right now I’m concentrating on being a father, and raising these children.”
Several former Heat players have gone on to enter the coaching ranks, including Caron Butler, Malik Allen, Juwan Howard, Chris Quinn, Keith Askins, Bimbo Coles, Ray Allen. Don’t rule it out.
Hall of Fame Weekend Schedule
Enshrinement Weekend for the Class of 2021 begins on Friday (Sept. 10) at an official press conference (2 p.m. on NBA TV) followed by an awards gala where the newest members will receive their Hall of Fame jackets. The induction ceremony is slated for Saturday (Sept. 11) at 7 p.m. on NBA TV. Riley will serve as Bosh’s presenter, although he will not be speaking.
The 16-member Class of 2021 includes the following players, executives, coaches: Chris Bosh, Paul Pierce, Chris Webber, Ben Wallace, Rick Adelman, Jay Wright, Bill Russell (already in as a player, now in as a coach), Yolanda Griffith, Lauren Jackson, Val Ackerman, Cotton Fitzsimmons, Howard Garfinkel, Clarence “Fats” Jenkins, Toni Kukoc, Bob Dandridge, Pearl Moore.