MIAMI (AP) — Chris Bosh will still play a role for the Miami Heat in the playoffs, though apparently one that doesn’t include him returning to the court.
The All-Star forward gave an emotional address to teammates before their first practice of this postseason on Friday, speaking about what playoff time means to him and how it pains him to be unable to play right now.
Bosh has been sidelined since the All-Star break — the second straight year that his season came to an end at the break because of a blood clot that started in his calf. Other than issuing a statement to announce that clot had dissipated several weeks ago, Bosh has not been available for interviews or offered any other updates on his health.
“Chris talked today to us, as a team,” fellow Heat All-Star Dwyane Wade said after practice. “The biggest message is someone who lived for this moment, someone who envisioned these moments especially after last year, he doesn’t have the ability to be in it.”
Wade did not reveal everything Bosh said, but quoted him as saying, “You guys have an opportunity to be out in the playoffs. What I wouldn’t do to be out there.”
Heat guard Goran Dragic said he got goosebumps thinking about Bosh’s message. Dragic said part of the meeting involved Heat coach Erik Spoelstra telling each player what their role would be, and then Bosh got called upon to speak.
“It’s really tough for him,” Dragic said. “He wants to be part of this on the court and it’s really hard to watch and not to do nothing. It’s a tough situation for him but we need him — even if he’s not going to play, his ability to talk to the players, show what you’re doing wrong, how you’re supposed to do it on the floor, it’s big time.”
Bosh led the Heat in scoring this season, averaging 19.1 points in 53 games.
He said he was sitting out All-Star weekend with a calf strain. Soon afterward, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press that he had been placed on a regimen of bloodthinners — just as he was a year ago. Athletes in contact sports are discouraged from competition while on bloodthinners, because of additional medical risks.
“With CB, it would be so much easier,” Dragic said. “He can do a lot of different things.”
Miami opens the Eastern Conference playoffs against Charlotte on Sunday. Bosh is expected to be on the bench for home games, as he has been for several weeks.