No matter how far the Miami Heat go in this year’s NBA playoffs, they will not have All-Star forward Chris Bosh on the court to help them.
Bosh and the team released a joint statement on Wednesday (Thursday in Manila) announcing that Bosh will not return to the court this season. Bosh was Miami’s leading scorer at 19 points per game before he was sidelined for the second straight season at the All-Star break with blood clots in his left leg.
“The Miami Heat and Chris Bosh announce that Chris will not be playing in the remainder of the 2016 NBA playoffs,” the statement read. “The Heat, Chris, the doctors and medical team have been working together throughout this process and will continue to do so to return Chris to playing basketball as soon as possible.”
Wednesday’s announcement quickly brought to a halt increasing speculation about Bosh’s possible return and a possible confrontation between player and team.
The National Basketball Players Association issued a statement to Deadspin on Tuesday saying it gotten involved in the situation. An NBPA rep had spoken with Bosh and agent Henry Thomas.
Before Wednesday, Bosh’s only public comment since February was a statement released by his publicist in March saying he did not have a blood clot at that point and was “positive” about returning this season.
Bosh began going public about his desire to play last month, though, when he posted a video of himself shooting jumpers at the arena with the caption, “Still got it,” and his wife started a #BringBoshBack hashtag on Twitter.
ESPN Radio’s Dan Le Batard reported Monday that Bosh has been pressuring the team to let him play, but the medical staff has said it’s unsafe. The Heat have maintained a consistent “no comment” on his playing status and have him listed as “Out” every game with no reason specified.
Now he definitely will not return, and any distraction that speculation about him rejoining the team might have caused goes way.
“It’s not a distraction at all,” Heat guard Dwyane Wade said in Toronto on Wednesday, before the statement came out. “It’s not our focus. This has been going on since February. All we know is that he’s taking care of himself, health-wise, and that’s all we care about. Anything else is out of our control and there’s no reason for us to worry about it.”
Bosh has served as a cheerleader on the bench during the postseason and is with the team in Toronto, where Miami will look to take a 2-0 series lead against the Raptors on Thursday night in the Eastern Conference semifinals.