Former NBA All-Star and two-time NBA-champion big man Chris Bosh continues to hold out hope for a comeback to the league. As he closes in on his 35th birthday next year, though, the former Miami Heat and Toronto Raptors star says the time for his return to the NBA may be dwindling.
In an interview with Yahoo Sports' Ben Rohrbach, Bosh said the time for retirement may come before he gets another shot in the NBA.
“Yeah, it’s still on my mind,” Bosh told Yahoo Sports of his comeback attempt. “Obviously, if it doesn’t happen by February, I’m not stupid, but yeah, I’m still looking forward to that. I’m still trying to overcome that hump and trying to get something going. I’m looking forward to the challenge. I know I can still play some ball and be a 3-and-D guy for somebody out there.”
This self-imposed deadline Bosh has determined is perhaps based on two key dates in the 2018-19 season: Feb. 7, 2019 (the NBA trade deadline) and March 1 (the NBA's playoff eligibility waiver deadline). Those are the points in which playoff teams tend to gear up for a postseason run, and, in some cases, add players in the free-agent pool for that push.
Bosh hasn't played in the NBA since the 2015-16 season due to blood-clotting issues. Earlier this year, he had hopes of signing with a playoff-contending team for the 2018 postseason. To date, though, Bosh remains without a team and last played in an NBA game on Feb. 9, 2016 as a member of the Miami Heat.
Bosh told Rohrbach that he understands why teams may be tentative about the idea of signing him, especially given the tragic death of former Boston Celtics star Reggie Lewis in 1993.
Bosh told Yahoo Sports that he “absolutely” understands those concerns, but he has weighed his treatment options and sought enough second opinions and to feel comfortable that he can identify the symptoms and still play without catastrophic risk to his health. “That’s kind of always the basis of the conversation, and I appreciate people who check up on me, but this is something that of course I’ve thought long and hard about. I know what those things feel like.”
If Bosh does land somewhere, don't expect there to be a "Heatles" reunion in Los Angeles. Dwyane Wade, Bosh's former teammate in Miami from 2010-16, remains a free agent this summer. LeBron James, the star of those Heat teams of the early 2010s, signed with the Lakers this summer.
Wade, 36, Bosh’s running mate for all six seasons he spent in Miami, has also mulled retirement this summer and remains unsigned in the final weeks before NBA training camps open in September. Asked if there’s any chance the two of them could join fellow draft class of 2003 alum LeBron on the Los Angeles Lakers for one last run at a championship together, Bosh laughed and told Yahoo Sports, “That would be the Laker Show plus the Old-Man Show.”
In March, Bosh spoke with ESPN's Jackie MacMullen and said he wanted to give an attempt at playing in NBA "one more shot." In an interview on ESPN's "First Take" in late February, Bosh said he understands the concerns surrounding his condition and would not put himself in life-threatening danger.
"I'm not going to be in a position where I'm risking my life," Bosh said in the February "First Take" interview. "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."
This isn't the first time Bosh has cited a desire to return to the NBA. In November, Bosh said he planned to "keep [his] options open as a player moving forward."
Bosh appeared in 44 games in 2014-15, his season ending at the All-Star break when the first known clot episode started. A year later, he played in 53 games and his season again ended at All-Star weekend, when another clot was found shortly after he landed in Toronto for the 2016 NBA All-Star Game.
Overall, he played 13 NBA seasons, seven with Toronto and six with the Miami Heat. He averaged 19.2 points and 8.5 rebounds in his career.