Chris Bosh, who helped lead the Miami Heat to two championships before blood clots forced him out of the game, will become the fourth Heat player to have his jersey retired, the team announced Monday.
Bosh, 34, follows Alonzo Mourning, Shaquille O’Neal and Tim Hardaway as Heat players who have had their jerseys retired.
The Bosh ceremony will be held at halftime of a March 26 home game against Orlando.
“I am proud that Chris will have his No. 1 jersey retired and be honored inside the AmericanAirlines Arena with this recognition for the greatness as a player on the court and his tremendous contributions to the Miami community off the court,” said Heat President Pat Riley. “His name and jersey will hang forever and always.”
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Bosh, who was acquired by the Heat from Toronto in a sign and trade July 9, 2010, joined LeBron James and Dwyane Wade to lead Miami to four NBA Finals appearances and two championships.
Bosh and the Heat had a falling out in 2016 when Bosh believed he was ready to resume his career after battling blood clots, but the Heat believed it was not safe for him to do so.
Bosh’s 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons had been curtailed because of blood clots after 44 and 53 games.
But the sides reconciled in recent weeks, with Bosh appearing at several Heat games and assisting during at least one practice.
Among the Heat’s all-time leaders, Bosh ranks third in free throw percentage (.805), fourth in double-figure scoring efforts (351), fifth in points (6,914), scoring average (18.0) and free throws made (1,469), sixth in defensive rebounds (2,258), field goal percentage (.496), field goals made (2,595) and starts (384), seventh in total rebounds (2,816) and blocks (332), 10th in minutes (13,121), 11th in double-doubles (82), offensive rebounds (558), games played (384), and steals (333), tied for 18th in three-point field goals made (255) and 20th in assists (680).
Additionally, among Miami’s all-time postseason leaders, he ranks third in points (1,163), field goals made (437), offensive rebounds (145), double-doubles (18), and double-figure scoring games (61), fourth in starts (74), free throws made (237), defensive rebounds (421), total rebounds (566), steals (71), blocks (89) and 20-point games (17), fifth in minutes (2,710), sixth in games played (78) and dunks (54) and tied for eighth in assists (86).
Wade said recently that he had nothing to do with the Bosh/Heat reconciliation, even though they remain close friends.
“That’s decision I’m sure he, his family and the Heat organization had,” Wade said last week. “Just as a brother supporting him, the tough times he went through. I can’t even imagine the game to be taken away from you in the prime of your career. It takes a while to come back to this point and even want to be back around the game. That’s tough, especially when you feel you can be out there and you have a lot to give and the game is changed to your style as well. I’m happy to see him come around basketball more and happy he’s around here.”
Because of Bosh’s blood clots, his career is likely over. Even if he played again, NBA rules prevent him from ever playing for the Heat again.
Bosh, who has never fomally retired, appeared in 893 career NBA regular season games (881 starts) and averaged 19.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.04 blocks and 35.8 minutes while shooting 49.4 percent from the field, 33.5 percent from three-point range and 79.9 percent from the foul line. He scored in double-figures 815 times, including 422 20-point games, 82 30-point efforts and 10 40-point performances.
ROAD TRIP BEGINS
With the Heat now three games under .500 for the first time since mid-December, Miami begins a five-game road trip knowing that it temporarily turned its season around the last time it ventured West.
The Heat was 9-14 entering a December road trip but returned home 14-16 after beating the Suns, Clippers, Grizzlies and Pelicans and losing to the Lakers and Jazz.
“We went on a West Coast road trip before; we were six games under and everybody was writing our season off in the beginning of December,” coach Erik Spoelstra said, with his team flying to Portland on Monday before an early-evening practice in Oregon.
“We came back and everybody was jumping on a different kind of bandwagon. We have a great opportunity to get our act together, get our game together, get comfortable again. And there’s no better place to do that than the road. That doesn’t discount any kind of disappointment we’ve had about these last three games” — all home losses.
But this Western swing is more difficult than the first, with games at Portland, Sacramento, Golden State, Denver and Dallas.
“It’s tough,” guard Dwyane Wade said. “All those teams on that list are tough teams. We’ve got to figure out a way to play better. If we want to win, we have to play a lot better.”
Miami is 13-11 on the road, compared with 11-16 at home.
“We’ve played this year better… on the road, not just record-wise,” Wade said. “I don’t know why we haven’t played as well at home. But the freer mind on the road has been little different. We’re going to need it.”
▪ In a league where scoring is up, the Heat has topped 100 points only twice in its past seven games, and one of those two exceptions was a 118-102 loss to Oklahoma City.
Miami has dropped to 26th in the league in scoring at 104.9 points per game, 27th in field goal percentage at 44.3 and 23rd in turnovers at 15.2.
“You can’t win games when you’re giving away that many extra possessions to the other team,” Wade said after Saturday’s 24-turnover game in a loss to Indiana. “So we definitely got to figure that out. Last time, Coach slowed everything down…. If we’re going turn the ball over, it’s going to be 30-, 40-point blowouts.”
▪ The Heat is unlikely to trade for disgruntled Pelicans center Anthony Davis. According to The Athletic, Davis has informed the Pelicans that he would sign longterm deals with the Lakers, Knicks, Bucks and Clippers if he is traded. The Heat doesn’t believe in giving up assets for players that it’s unlikely to be able to keep longterm. Davis can become a free agent in the summer of 2020.
▪ ESPN dropped its final Heat telecast of the season, a March 13 game against Detroit, and replaced it with Brooklyn-Oklahoma City. That means the Heat’s final national TV appearance — excluding games on NBA TV — will be on TNT Tuesday at Portland, which Isiah Thomas, Grant Hill and Jason Terry on the call for Turner.