MIAMI — Chris Bosh has not played in an NBA game since Feb. 9, 2016 because of blood clotting issues, but he’s not ready to end his NBA playing career just yet.
During an appearance on ESPN’s First Take on Thursday, Bosh was asked about potentially returning to the NBA next season. It’s clear the 11-time All-Star is still hoping to play again.
“I’ve been hitting the gym, I can still play basketball. No, I’m not done yet. … I’m trying to come back,” Bosh said. “I see all these guys shooting threes and not playing defense, man, I got to get some of it.”
Although Bosh said he is targeting the start of the 2018-19 for a possible return, he hasn’t ruled out the opportunity to play this season. Since Bosh has not played in the NBA this season, he could sign at any time before the end of the regular season and still be eligible for a team’s playoff roster.
“The roster spots haven’t been filled this season yet,” Bosh said, “so it’s always a possibility.”
Bosh, 33, did say that he would want to play for a “top three” team and named Houston, Golden State and Toronto as three possibilities. The Heat aren’t an option for Bosh due to NBA rules regarding the agreement that allowed the Heat and Bosh to part ways without his salary ever returning to Miami’s cap even if he plays again.
The Heat waived Bosh in July after an NBA doctor ruled in the Heat’s favor and agreed with the organization’s belief that Bosh’s blood clot issues are considered a career-ending illness. This move was the final step for Miami in receiving cap relief from Bosh’s contract.
After Bosh failed a team physical just before last season, Heat president Pat Riley said Bosh’s career with Miami “probably is over” and Bosh didn’t seem to understand the team’s position at that point. But Bosh’s relationship with the organization has improved since then.
As part of Miami’s Big Three, Bosh helped the Heat win two NBA titles in 2012 and 2013. He averaged 18.0 points on 49.6 percent shooting and 7.3 rebounds in 384 regular-season games with the Heat.
The only way Bosh could return to the NBA is if he provides medical evidence that meets league approval.
“Medicine is like law. That’s what I’ve come to find out,” Bosh said on First Take. “It’s very gray area. Some people say yes. Some people say no. Usually it’s about what the majority agrees to, and usually sometimes it’ll take somebody to kind of have some revolutionary plan or something like that.
“I’m not going to be in a position where I’m risking my life. 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.”