After suffering a 116-89 defeat in game seven of their Eastern Conference semi-final series with the Toronto Raptors, it appears as though things are going from bad to worse for the Miami Heat.
Chris Bosh has been a pillar of the organisation since the forward headed to South Beach six years ago. With Dwyane Wade and LeBron James, the 32-year-old won two NBA championships on four consecutive trips to the Finals.
The last two years, however, have not been as kind to Bosh or the Heat.
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Two years in a row Bosh has been shut down for the rest of the season following the All-Star break. It might seem poetic that All-Star weekend was in Toronto this year and that city's franchise has also shut down Miami's season and Bosh started his career with the Raptors, but that might be where it climaxes, too.
ESPN's Brian Windhorst has reported that several sources close to the franchise believe that Bosh might be on the verge of retirement. The report reads:
"There is a fear within the Heat organization that Bosh's condition will prevent him from ever being cleared to play by team doctors, several sources said. It's a result of exhaustive consultations with specialists. Something this big and delicate, the sides have gone deep attempting to understand all the options."
Speaking after their game seven loss to the Raptors on Sunday, Heat coach Erik Spoelstra commented on the veteran's situation and although he didn't directly reference such a decision, his emotional insight highlighted the gravity to the situation.
"I feel very badly for CB because I know how much this game means to him," said Spoelstra said. "I think everybody knows how much CB means to me."
The report goes on to suggest that both sides are reluctantly exploring the possiblity of an early retirement. After all, Bosh's contract would leave a big void in their cap space and losing a player of his calibre would be something they have to address sharply.
"This is an unpleasant reality the sides have wrestled with for months while trying to focus on the team. But league rules and the Heat's situation may end up causing it to come to a head as the Heat enter the summer needing to make roster plans.
"Such as, do the Heat need to spend some of their $40 million in cap space on signing a center to be their starter in place of Bosh long term. A player like now-free agent Hassan Whiteside, for example."
Bosh certainly has a sentimental affinity with the Heat and this would no doubt be a tough decision to make. Do the Heat really want to pay a guy $23 million a year just to play till the All-Star break?
Whilst the nature of the medical condition remains unknown, it has been speculated that the blood clots that sidelined CB in 2015 may well be the ongoing issue.