The Chris Bosh Wars, Pt. II: Money, Money, Money

The Miami Heat gave Chris Bosh a max contract and now they have remorse. It’s a case of be careful what you ask for. Chris Bosh has no interest in retiring. He has no interest in helping the Heat with future flexibility concerns given how the Heat are basically screwing him. So each man to himself. Or, each man for himself.

In one corner you have Chris Bosh. Bosh is never going to quit. He is an elite professional athlete. He didn’t get that way by giving in or not exhausting every avenue and road there was to take. He believes he will get better. He believes his muscle mass will come back to pre-clot form. He believes his body isn’t blood clot dependent. He knows how much work he put into his career and just to expect him to give it up isn’t going to happen. He is targeting a return or comeback. even if the odds are against him.

There’s an irony here. If Chris Bosh was diagnosed with HIV, he would be given his medication and everything would be fine. He could play, given he passed regular physicals. HIV isn’t a death sentence anymore. But Chris Bosh had blood clots. The treatment thins the blood and you can, if not monitored, bleed to death. Physical contact and anything where you can aggravate a bleed is life threatening. Not treating the clots is life threatening too. The clot going to the brain or heart is instant death. There is a lot to fear.

But. Bosh wants to play and believes he can. He said, “I want my children to know that Daddy was a fighter.”

In the other corner is Pat Riley. He wants to escape the Chris Bosh contract. No one told Riley to sign Bosh to a max deal but Riley was adamant on saving face after LeBron defected to Cleveland. I’m not saying Chris Bosh wasn’t worth a big payday but since the contract his production has been a good 19.9 points ppg and an above average but not great 7.2 rebounds per game. Now Riley is trying to extricate himself from the mess and as is Riley’s way, doing a poor job as a messenger with empathy or compassion.

There is zero loyalty in sports. A players meaning comes down to their worth and that is determined by the value of their contract. Yes, the Lakers did suck it up for Kobe Bryant and take it on the chin financially but that’s because they tried to extricate themselves without starting a war the way Pat Riley has done. This is ugly.

Riley wants to save money. This is how.

If he waives Bosh on March 1, Bosh won’t be eligible for the playoffs and his money will be taken off the cap even though the Heat still have to pay Bosh. In the summer of 2017, Riley can chase Blake Griffin. If Bosh plays 25 games in 2017-18, the cap figure is restored and the Heat are deep in luxury cap tax hell has frozen over mode, a huge hit. To think that Bosh won’t play is wishful thinking.

Every team has different standards in regards to physicals.

A decade ago, the Bulls were at an impasse with Eddie Curry. They were afraid he had a pre-existing heart condition. Curry wouldn’t submit to a DNA test to prove it right or wrong. The Bulls ended up trading him to the Knicks. That first year with the Knicks, Curry appeared in 72 games. He never had a heart attack on the court ala Reggie Lewis of the Celtics. Each organization is run differently in that regard.  What players are capable of given healthy limitations is a subjective opinion. If Chris Bosh wants to play and teams think he can play do you think the Clippers or Warriors wouldn’t take a chance on him?

In the present tense, Riley has turned the Chris Bosh page. Now he just cares about the money. Chris Bosh has turned the Miami Heat page. Now he just wants to play basketball. We’ll know in a year who is the winner in this long and ugly protracted war.


photo via llananba