Five memorable moments during Chris Bosh’s Miami Heat career

Chris Bosh spent seven years with the Heat playing in just 97 games his last three seasons. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

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:

The Rebound

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. …

The Block

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 return

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.

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Alonzo Mourning, who played four years at Georgetown, says freshmen entering NBA draft ‘don’t blossom until after third year’

Alonzo Mourning forged a Hall of Fame career after playing four years at Georgetown. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

MIAMI – Alonzo Mourning had a discussion with his foster mother nearly 30 years ago similar to ones that likely have taken place all over the country in the last few months.

College freshmen, most still teenagers, anxious to leave school and enter the big-boy world of the NBA. For Mourning, that talk with Fannie Threet resulted in the skinny 6-foot-10 center returning to Georgetown for three more years to receive an education. … on the court as much as off.

“I was determined to stay four years and that was because of my surroundings,” Mourning told the Palm Beach Post. “(Then Georgetown coach) John Thompson, the track record the university had with graduation rates. My foster mom, who was a huge influence in my life.”

Three decades later many of those discussions end with parents or guardians giving their children their blessings to forgo the rest of their college careers and enter the NBA.

Ready or not.

Most projections have freshmen being taken with nine of the top 10 picks in Thursday’s NBA draft. Some have all 10 being freshmen before Frank Ntilikina, the first international player expected to come off the board, is selected. CBS Sports’ big board has 12 of the top 16 players being freshmen.

“It’s ridiculous,” Mourning said.

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Mourning, 47, believes that decision he made shortly after his 19th birthday is a big reason why he has been such a success on and off the court. Mourning played three more seasons at Georgetown in which he was a two-time All-American and the 1991-92 Big East Player of the Year. Three years ago Mourning was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame and he remains a part of the Heat organization as a vice-president.

Of course, what choice did he have being raised by a school teacher?

“It was always about education, education,” Mourning said about Threet, who died in 2013 at the age of 98. “I made that the No. 1 priority.”

In 1992, Mourning was taken second overall by the Hornets, behind Shaquille O’Neal. Mourning averaged 21.0 points, 10.3 rebounds and 3.5 blocks as a rookie.

“I was ready, physically, mentally, I was ready,” he said. “Same thing with Tim Duncan. He stayed (at Wake Forest) four years and as soon as he came in, boom, immediate impact. You’re not going to sit here and tell me that those four years don’t make a huge difference in the development.”

And Mourning now has proof.

Fewer and fewer players are making an instant impact out of college and the proof is in the 2016 draft, considered one of the worst in recent memory.

With top overall pick Ben Simmons missing the season because of a foot injury, the player who has emerged as the favorite for rookie of the year is Milwaukee’s Malcolm Brogdon, who was selected in the second round, 36th overall.

Brogdon played four years at Virginia.

The rest of the draft in which the first three picks and five of the top eight were freshmen, and 10 freshmen were selected in the first round is filled with players with potential but beyond the top three picks of Simmons, Brandon Ingram and Jaylen Brown, even that is limited.

“You look at these young guys, they really don’t blossom until after that third year in the league,” Mourning said. “Three years they could have been in college.

“Now more than ever they look at the years of earning. ‘I can earn these three years right here even though I’m developing I’m still earning. I’m not earning while I’m in school. I’m earning money for the NCAA but I’m not earning money for myself, my family.’”

Players who enter the league around the age of 20 have an opportunity to sign up to three max or big-money deals after their rookie contract. Mourning entered the league at 22 and was in position for two big deals. After signing a seven-year, $105-million contract the Heat in 1996, Mourning was diagnosed with a kidney disorder that affected his next deal, which was for $22 million over four years.

“They look at those three years as an earning potential and how quick they can get to a second contract and then they have room to get to a third,” Mourning said. “I never really got to a third because I came in late.”

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Heat coach Erik Spoelstra on facing Spurs without Tim Duncan: ‘Definitely strange’

 

 

San Antonio's Tim Duncan defending Miami's Chris Bosh in the 2014 NBA Finals. (AP Photo)
San Antonio’s Tim Duncan defending Miami’s Chris Bosh in the 2014 NBA Finals. (AP Photo)

MIAMI – While the Miami Heat were forced to spend a couple of months getting over losing Dwyane Wade, who left for Chicago after 13 years with the organization, the San Antonio Spurs had their own loss in which they were forced to adjust.

Tim Duncan, who spent his entire 19 year career in San Antonio, retired following last season. Duncan, who won five titles with the Spurs, was as much an icon and a part of San Antonio’s fabric as Wade was in Miami.

“That’s definitely strange,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said about preparing for San Antonio tonight without Duncan on the roster. “And yet when you watch them you just see they still have all the San Antonio principals even without an incredible Hall of Fame player like TD.”

Duncan played 31 regular season games against the Heat. He averaged 18.1 points and 11.2 rebounds while shooting 52 percent.

The Spurs also faced the Heat in two Finals with Miami winning in 2013 in an epic seven-game series and San Antonio getting revenge the next year in five games. Duncan averaged 18.9 points and 12.1 rebounds in 2013 and 15.4 points and 10.0 boards in 2014.

The Spurs, though, started transitioning to the post-Duncan era last year when they signed LaMarcus Aldridge. Aldridge, though, is getting tonight off after playing three games in five nights to start the season with a sore knee.

“For a basketball afficianado you absolutely respect and enjoy how San Antonio just finds a way to stay ahead of the curve, continue to reinvent and be incredibally efficient on both sides of the game,” Spoelstra said.

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Amar’e Stoudemire’s case for the Hall of Fame is better than you might think

Amar'e Stoudemire #5 of the Miami Heat grabs a rebound against the Brooklyn Nets during their game at the Barclays Center on January 26, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Amar’e Stoudemire #5 of the Miami Heat grabs a rebound against the Brooklyn Nets during their game at the Barclays Center on January 26, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Six-time NBA All-Star and 14-year veteran Amar’e Stoudemire announced his retirement on Tuesday, signing a one-day contract with the New York Knicks before calling it a career.

The 33-year-old spent his first eight season with the Phoenix Suns, before taking his talents to the Big Apple during the 2010 offseason and playing four and a half seasons with the Knicks. Stoudemire was then sent to Dallas in the 2014-15 season, before he played one final season with the Miami Heat.

The next stop in Stoudemire’s NBA career may be Springfield, as the Florida native has a fairly strong case for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

Over an eight-year period, from his second season in the league through his first season in New York, Stoudemire was one of the most dominant forces in the game. During that stretch, Amar’e averaged 23.2 points per game, 8.8 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.5 blocks while shooting 54.3 percent from the field. By comparison, certain Hall of Famer Tim Duncan averaged 22.5 points and shot 50.7 percent during the best eight-year offensive stretch of his career.

Stoudemire’s career numbers also compare favorably to those of another surefire Hall of Fame player, Kevin Garnett. In his 14-year career, “STAT” averaged 18.9 points on 53.7 percent shooting, 7.8 rebounds, 1.2 assists, 0.8 steals and 1.2 blocks per game. Garnett has averaged 17.8 points, 10 rebounds, 3.7 assists, 1.3 steals and 1.4 blocks while shooting 49.7 percent from the field through his first 20 seasons.

Critics will look to Stoudemire’s lack of career longevity and the seasons cut short due to injury as the most prominent arguments against his Hall of Fame candidacy.

Despite the injuries, though, he was considered not only a dominant player, but, in a way, a revolutionary one as well. Stoudemire and Steve Nash led the Phoenix Suns’ “Seven Seconds or Less” offense, which made it to the 2005 Western Conference Finals, and they then reached that mark again the next season, although Stoudemire didn’t appear in that playoff run.

A 22-year-old Stoudemire turned in one of the greatest playoff series performances of all-time in those Western Finals against Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs. In five games, Amar’e averaged 37 points a game on 55 percent shooting and added 9.8 rebounds and 1.6 blocks. He did not score fewer than 31 points in any game, yet the Spurs still won the series 4-1.

The “Seven Seconds or Less” Suns laid the groundwork for the fast-paced, small-ball basketball that spawned the current NBA powerhouse Golden State Warriors. Several current NBA teams have attempted to duplicate the Suns’ blueprint, and nearly every squad is looking for big men that can run the floor and shoot efficiently from the perimeter.

Stoudemire’s contribution to that movement should not be forgotten, and his role in changing the NBA’s perception of big men may be enough to land him in the hallowed Hall in Springfield.

Gif Credit: SB Nation
Gif Credit: SB Nation

Tim Duncan retires: His link to the Miami Heat

Tim Duncan and Chris Bosh in the 2014 NBA Finals. (Getty Images)
Tim Duncan and Chris Bosh in the 2014 NBA Finals. (Getty Images)

Tim Duncan put together an unbelievable 19-year run with the San Antonio Spurs, stamped with 15 All-Star appearances and five championships, before announcing his retirement today.
Continue reading “Tim Duncan retires: His link to the Miami Heat”

Wade says Udonis Haslem would play on many other teams

Udonis Haslem is still here and it seems like he always will be. (Getty Images)
Udonis Haslem is still here and it seems like he always will be. (Getty Images)

Dwyane Wade slipped into a little bit of a sidebar on Heat veteran Udonis Haslem the other day when discussing the Spurs’ prolonged success and the longevity of Tim Duncan.
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Q&A with Dwyane Wade on playing to 40, retiring, coming off the bench

Dwyane Wade isn't ruling out playing to age 40, coming off the bench or anything, for that matter. (Getty Images)
Dwyane Wade isn’t ruling out playing to age 40, coming off the bench or anything, for that matter. (Getty Images)

Heat president Pat Riley said last weekend he could see Dwyane Wade playing until he’s 40 years old. At first it seemed like he was joking, but then he kept going and it seemed a lot less like a joke.

After the team’s shootaround in New Orleans this morning, Wade talked about that idea and what he thinks the end of his career might be like.
Continue reading “Q&A with Dwyane Wade on playing to 40, retiring, coming off the bench”