MIAMI — Cloud after cloud has rolled into South Florida over the past nine months, halting to hover over American Airlines Arena. From departures to injuries to ailments, it’s been difficult for the Heat to keep from getting downcast amid the downpour.
Finally, Monday night, the sun peered through.
First came the team’s release—in coordination with Chris Bosh’s doctors—that the All-Star forward, sidelined for the season with a blood clot, will start strength training next month with the intention of resuming full basketball activities in September.
Then came a familiar smile, from a familiar place, behind the microphone in the arena’s interview room.
“Good afternoon, good evening,” Bosh said, looking slimmer, but otherwise no worse for wear. “First off, I just want to thank everybody for the continued support and prayers. It truly has kept me uplifted through this trying time, and I feel that all the love and energy has really allowed me to be back here. Not under the circumstances I want to be. But beggars can’t be choosers. I’m very happy to be here. And I’m doing a lot better. So thank you.”
When Bosh, bothered by a sore lower back for several weeks, checked into the hospital on Feb. 19 and then was diagnosed with blood clots in his lungs, it wasn’t entirely clear whether he would play basketball again. Now, there doesn’t seem to be any doubt. Bosh has been spending his days at home with his wife and three kids, walking for exercise and recently driving around the block.
“I just take time to reflect, and just sit outside and enjoy the beautiful weather and appreciate it,” Bosh said.
There’s been plenty to reflect upon.
He knew something was wrong for a while, but wasn’t sure what, and now suspects that he might have been playing with the clots for three weeks or more. But he didn’t want to become a burden to a team that had been burdened enough, fighting for a playoff spot with key cogs regularly out of the lineup.
“You know our situation,” Bosh said. “It’s been tough this year. I didn’t want to continue to add to the snowball that was already going on. So I just wanted to do my best and go out there and try to get a win. That’s all I was thinking about.”
After the All-Star Game, he told Bleacher Report that he was hurting, but wasn’t injured. Then he went to Haiti for a quick trip with his wife, Adrienne, as well as Dwyane Wade and Wade’s wife, Gabrielle Union. When he came back, he was feeling worse. Adrienne pushed him to see a doctor.