Both the Miami Heat's and Chris Bosh's hands are tied due to the inflexible nature of the NBA's current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA). In an effort to prevent teams and players from gaming the system to gain unfair advantages, the CBA may be too complex and rigid for its own good in the handling of injured athletes.
In 2011 Adam Silver commented on the repairs necessary for the agreement at that time,
"The expiring collective bargaining agreement created a broken system that produced huge financial losses for our teams . . . . We will continue to make every effort to reach a new agreement that is fair and in the best interests of our teams, our players, our fans, and our game."
With the opt-out date for either party only 140 days away, dealing with workplace safety and health insurance may take an increased role in future negotiations. The ongoing talks about the CBA revolve almost exclusively around compensation packages, with other topics more of an afterthought than anything else.
That could change as a more inclusive approach on the well-being of players, both monetarily and in their health, may be taken in the next round of talks.
Having Bosh playing and on the court would be the ideal situation for the team and him. Bosh, along with Udonis Haslem and Goran Dragic, would continue to provide the winning culture the team needs for the upcoming season. He would get to compete in the game he clearly loves.
The problem lies in the byzantine wording of the CBA. If teams had no salary caps, a six-month waiting period for medical emergencies to allow contracts to come off the books, or an injured reserve list that would not count against team salary caps, etc., that could make dealing with special situations less onerous on them, while keeping a semblance of parity.
The obsession about breaking cap space rules can be detrimental to a player's long-term health, because franchises have to field inferior teams when a key player is unavailable, or risk playing someone who is not fully healed due to current rules not allowing cap relief to add needed reserves.
Micky Arison, Pat Riley, Erik Spoelstra, Bosh want to do the right thing. All of them are reasonable people, who are bound by unreasonable rules.
Eventually special situations can only be resolved by involving neutral third parties, who can decide a solution which is in the best interest of everyone: players, teams, and the league without public acrimony. The United States Constitution allows for Amendments to allow adaptation to current situations. For example, in 1792 women were not allowed to vote, let alone run for President. A CBA permitting a yearly review for necessary changes may prevent future lockouts due to the agreement keeping up with current issues.
Once a final medical decision is reached, everyone can exhale and go on with the business of planning for the playoffs.