MIAMI >> Three years after he first was diagnosed with potentially life-threatening blood clots and two years removed from his last NBA action, former Miami Heat All-Star forward Chris Bosh said today that he is considering a return to the NBA.
The Heat, with a medical opinion that any potential return by Bosh could be catastrophic, waived Bosh in July, with the NBA, in conjunction with the NBA players’ union, ruling that the Heat would not be liable for any further salary-cap hits from Bosh’s contract, which expires after this season and is being paid off by insurance.
During an appearance on ESPN’s “First Take,” Bosh was asked about potentially returning to the NBA next season. He responded in more immediate terms.
“I’ve been in the gym. I can still play basketball. No, I’m not done yet,” Bosh, 33, said.
“Yeah, I’m trying to come … man, I see all these guys shooting threes and not playing defense. Man, I mean, I got to get some of it.”
Bosh spoke of joining a contender, although it is not known if an NBA team, even at the league-minimum salary, would take on such health concerns.
Bosh said he believes that his condition can be managed, even with the rigors of the NBA.
“It was the first situation that was very dire and very serious, and I’m lucky to be here,” he said of the initial onset of the blood clots during the 2015 All-Star Weekend. “But the second situation, they just said, ‘Well, you can’t play tomorrow.’ “
Bosh, initially at odds with the Heat, appeared to make peace with Heat President Pat Riley following his July release. However, unlike former Heat Big Three championship teammate Dwyane Wade, Bosh has resettled from South Florida to Los Angeles, scheduled for several appearances there during All-Star Weekend.
Bosh joined the Heat in the 2010 offseason, helping the Heat advance to the NBA Finals from 2011 to 2014, with championships in 2012 and ‘13. He then, in the wake of LeBron James’ free-agency departure, re-signed a maximum-level contract with the Heat in the 2014 offseason.
Bosh downplayed dire concerns during Thursday’s ESPN appearance.
“Medicine is like law. That’s what I’ve come to find out,” he said. “It’s very gray area. Some people say yes. Some people say no. Usually it’s about what the majority agrees to, and usually sometimes it’ll take somebody to kind of have some revolutionary plan or something like that.
“I’m not going to be in a position where I’m risking my life. So if I ever get back on the court like that and people are worried, it’s not going to be a life-risking situation.”
Bosh has previously contended his condition could be managed with blood thinners, with a schedule that takes into account the contact of the NBA game and the league’s scheduling.
Bosh stressed there is no immediacy with his plans, but that he is open to all options.
“Next season?” he said of his comeback plan. “The roster spots haven’t been filled this season yet, so it’s always a possibility.”
Because Bosh has not been in the league this season, he could sign at any time prior to the end of the regular season and be eligible for a team’s playoff roster.