The Big Three era’s abrupt, unceremonious ending featured tension from all three stars. LeBron James said that some people he “trusted and built relationships with” in Miami told him that going to Cleveland was the “biggest mistake of my career.” The 13-year marriage between Dwyane Wade and the Heat didn’t exactly end on rosy terms, either.
Would characterize relations between Wade/Heat -- especially after what's been published in past 24 hours -- at all-time low. Gonna b tough.— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) July 6, 2016
But the fallout of the Chris Bosh situation represented something else. The National Basketball Player’s Association even got involved during the impasse. The two-time NBA champion starred in a documentary series in which Bosh claimed that Heat doctors wrote him off from ever playing again. Pat Riley lashed out at Bosh for this characterization. Here’s a refresher from Ethan Skolnick at the time:
"He wasn't just written off," Riley said. "Was not. That may have been his attitude and perception of it, because he simply didn't want to believe what was out there. In spite of that, we did everything that we could... He was never just written off. That was a poor statement on his part, really poor, because it besmirched our doctors and our efforts to help find this protocol."
Riley also lashed out at media reports -- some fed by Bosh's side -- that the Heat were concerned largely about clearing Bosh's money from the salary cap. Bosh has three years and $76 million remaining on his contract and, if he doesn't play more than nine games between now and February 9, the Heat can begin the process of trying to clear him from their roster. They would still be responsible for paying him, with insurance covering roughly half of it.
"The only thing we care about, the only thing we care about, is his health," Riley said. "That's it. And everything that's been written other than that is wrong. There's never been any kind of cap (thing).... Whatever the cap ramifications are, they are there. But we never, ever, ever thought about that. If we didn't really care about Chris, we would have played him in the playoffs this year, and tried to get past Toronto and get to Cleveland. We felt we would have had a chance."
But the once-bitter relationship may end in an amicable parting. Riley said after the Heat’s 41-41 finish that his organization had been in contact with Bosh, but that there had been “no resolution.” And now, the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson said that the relationship is “mended” with an impending release of the big man.
The organization has mended its relationship with Bosh in recent weeks, with direct contact between Bosh and the top of the organization, in advance of his impending release and removal of his salary from Miami’s cap.
Will Bosh try to play in the NBA again? We’ll see, but it’s a good sign that Bosh and Riley are taking positive steps towards a resolution.