TIM REYNOLDS, AP Basketball Writer
MIAMI (AP) — Chris Bosh has more than likely played his final game for Miami, with the All-Star forward’s latest health setback apparently convincing the team that a return from multiple bouts of blood clots is no longer feasible.
Bosh failed a physical last week, keeping him from getting clearance to return to the court.
“Chris is still open-minded,” Heat President Pat Riley said Monday. “But we are not working toward his return.”
Each of Bosh’s his last two seasons ended at the All-Star break because of blood clots, but he was planning to come back this season while on a regimen of blood thinners. This month, he even pronounced himself ready to play, saying nothing would keep him off the floor.
“There is not a next step for us,” Riley said. “It’s pretty definitive for us in our position.”
Bosh is not expected to even be around the Heat, at least for the foreseeable future. He will not accompany the Heat to training camp that starts in the Bahamas on Tuesday.
With Bosh out of the mix, that means 11 of the 19 players who got minutes for the Heat last season are no longer with the team. Of the starters from Miami’s last game — Game 7 of the Eastern Conference semifinal series in Toronto — only Goran Dragic and Justise Winslow remain, with Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng and Joe Johnson all signing elsewhere this summer.
“Everybody knows how much CB means to me and his family,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said Monday. “I love CB dearly. It was tough to watch CB and his family go through this the last couple years. Your heart just goes out to him.”
Bosh said in a video released this month on LeBron James’ digital platform called “Uninterrupted” that Heat doctors wrote him off this past February when the second clot saga began, telling him then they believed his career was over.
Riley strongly disagreed with Bosh’s assessment, insisting the team worked for months to help Bosh get healthy and back on the floor.
“He wasn’t just written off. Was not,” Riley said. “That may have been his perception because he simply didn’t want to believe what’s out there.”
Bosh was told last week he failed his physical, and after several days of meetings with doctors the Heat revealed Friday he was not cleared for camp. Bosh called that a setback but added that his intentions do not change.
Bosh is Miami’s highest-paid player, set to earn about $76 million over the next three seasons. His money is guaranteed, though the Heat can get salary-cap relief next February from the bulk of that money if Bosh doesn’t return to the court.
“We never, ever thought about that,” Riley said. “If we didn’t care about Chris, we would have played him in the playoffs.”
Dragic would be the only returning player who started more than 43 games for the Heat last season. And, with Bosh out, two-thirds of the Heat starting lineups from a year ago are no longer with Miami.
“We’re rebuilding,” Riley said. “But we’re rebuilding to win now and that’s always been our attitude.”
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