One week into the 2010 free agency period the first bombshell was dropped: Chris Bosh had agreed to join Dwyane Wade and play for the Miami Heat.
Within 48 hours LeBron James then famously announced he was taking his talents to South Beach. The Big Three was formed and the history of the Heat forever was changed.
Now, seven years later, with today’s announcement that the Heat have waived Bosh the last member of the Big Three Era has officially departed the Heat. The dismantling was slow with James returning to Cleveland in 2014 and Wade shunning Miami after 13 years last summer and signing with Chicago. And today’s news is nothing more than a formality considering the unofficial conclusion to Bosh’s Heat career was last September when he failed his Heat physical and President Pat Riley announced Bosh’s career with Miami “probably is over.”
After all, it has been nearly 17 months since Bosh last wore a Heat uniform or even played an NBA game.
But now, after a full season with Bosh’s $23.7 million salary on its books despite the 33-year-old not playing a game or even being around the team, Bosh officially is a free agent and able to sign with any team, health permitting.
Bosh’s seven years and six seasons with the Heat were memorable. He averaged 18.0 points, 7.3 rebounds and shot just under 50 percent. He was a part of two title teams, made four trips to the Finals and was an All-Star in each of those six seasons.
Bosh had plenty of memorable moments while playing in South Florida and here are five:
Game 6 of the 2013 Finals forever will be remembered for Ray Allen’s 3-pointer in the final seconds that tied the game and gave the Heat the chance to win in overtime.
But Bosh was the reason Allen even had that opportunity.
With the Spurs leading 95-92, James had the first crack at knotting the score but his 3-point attempt from the left wing with about 11 seconds to play bounced off the rim. Bosh, with nobody boxing him out, pulled down the rebound, wrestling it way from Manu Ginobili and had the presence to find Allen in the right corner.
Allen then made the most celebrated shot in Heat history setting up overtime for. …
Well, actually, there were two blocks by Bosh that helped seal the win and force a Game 7.
With 34 seconds remaining and the Heat leading by one, Bosh switched onto Tony Parker. Parker then created some space with a jab step and rose for the 20 foot jumper. But Bosh, from about five feet, lunged and blocked the shot. James grabbed the ball and was fouled.
The Spurs had one more chance trailing 103-100 with 1.9 seconds remaining and inbounding in the ball from the side. The pass went to Danny Green in the far corner and Bosh, sprinting from the top of the circle to the corner, blocked the potential game-tying shot just before the buzzer, setting up the dramatic Game 7 which would lead to Miami’s second title in two years.
The franchise was at a crossroads in July of 2014 when James penned his ‘I’m coming home’ letter, ending his four seasons in Miami. Bosh now was in the spotlight and had a decision to make: Return to Miami and team with Wade or take Houston’s max offer and join James Harden and Dwight Howard in his home state.
Bosh became the anti-LeBron and was praised for his loyalty when he opted to return to Miami on a five-year, $118 million deal. Of course, nobody could have predicted what would happen. Bosh never again played a full season and wound up suiting up in just 97 more games with the Heat.
The Bad News
Just days after playing in his 10th All-Star Game, in which he scored 10 points in 11 minutes, the basketball world was stunned to hear Bosh was hospitalized and then even more so when it was learned he had developed blood clots in one of his lungs.
Bosh spent a week in the hospital after being diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism. Basketball became secondary as Bosh was fortunate to be alive. Still, he worked his way back into shape and started the 2015-16 season like he had his previous 12, a force on the court and good enough to be voted to another All-Star Game.
But nobody knew it would be the last season in which he would play a game for the Heat, and possibly in the NBA. Bosh once again developed a blood clot that was diagnosed around the All-Star break, this time in his left leg.
Now, Bosh’s career truly was in jeopardy and after a summer of working out and hoping he could return for the 2016-17 season, Bosh failed a Heat physical prior to the start of training camp and never again would wear a Heat uniform.
The Bosh Game
With James, Wade and Mario Chalmers all nursing minor injuries, the Heat went into San Antonio late in the 2012-13 season to face a healthy Spurs team.
The Heat stayed with the Spurs despite a starting lineup of Bosh, Norris Cole, Rashard Lewis, Mike Miller and Udonis Haslem. The Spurs had the ball and a one point lead late but Haslem forced Tim Duncan to miss a short jumper and Allen grabbed the rebound with about 10 seconds to play. Allen took it himself and was double teamed on the left side of the court. He found Bosh wide open at the top of the circle and Bosh let it fly as Duncan lunged toward him. The ball went in giving the Heat an 88-86 victory.
Bosh led all scorers with 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds.