Chris Bosh reaches playing pinnacle with Saturday’s Hall induction, with coaching a possible next chapter

By Ira Winderman

Chris Bosh will reach the pinnacle as a player on Saturday, when the former Miami Heat forward is inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass.

But at 37, with a career cut short by a medical issue, it is not necessarily the final basketball chapter.

While former Heat championship teammate Dwyane Wade has moved into ownership with the Utah Jazz, and while LeBron James, the other Big Three member who was part of those Heat teams that advanced to four consecutive NBA Finals at the start of last decade, appears destined for further entrepreneurial endeavors after his career, Bosh said he would not summarily rule out a potential coaching role.

Just not at the moment.

“I don’t want to put any closure on it,” Bosh said. “Some sort of front-office or coaching situation, I don’t want to throw dirt on it and say, ‘that’s it.’ All I will say that right now I’m concentrating on being a father, and raising these children.”

Since his career came to a premature close due to a second bout with blood clots midway through the 2015-16 season, Bosh has returned to the Heat’s practice court at times to work with the team’s big men, similar to the work of Heat Hall of Fame center Alonzo Mourning.

While Mourning never made a commitment to coaching, the team routinely has brought back players for such roles, with former Heat forwards Malik Allen and Caron Butler on Erik Spoelstra’s current staff, and former Heat teammate Juwan Howard having served as a Heat assistant during the latter stages of Bosh’s playing career.

“One day, if I have time, if I have more free time on my hands, I would definitely consider some of those things, with the right situation " Bosh said, laughing about how former Heat teammate Udonis Haslem, the team’s current captain, has said he will have nothing to do with coaching after his career.

In some ways, Bosh said he already considers himself a life coach, having this year authored a book, Letters to a Young Athlete, that essentially is a treatise on his emergence to Hall of Famer and a tribute to the guidance of those who set him on the course.

“Being able to write out these things, write out those ideas, but most importantly help young athletes and everyone everywhere, that’s kind of what I’m trying to go for,” he said.

“So I definitely want to motivate every generation out there and the generations to come.”

The influence of coaching will be present Saturday, with Pat Riley to stand at one side of Bosh as a Hall of Fame presenter, with Ray Allen on his other side, with the former Heat guard recently taking over as coach at Miami’s Gulliver Prep.

“His body of work spoke for itself,” Spoelstra said of Bosh, “and I think he always was able to do it with a great deal of class and professionalism, a real quiet confidence about him that uplifted everybody in the building.”

Previously enshrined in Springfield for careers that included time with the Heat were Riley, Allen, Mourning, Shaquille O’Neal and Gary Payton. Former Heat assistant coach Bob McAdoo and former Heat executive Billy Cunningham also are in the Hall.

The next member of the Heat’s Big Three who will on the ballot is Wade, for the Hall’s Class of 2023, four years after his retirement, with James eventually to follow.

The other players to be enshrined Saturday as part of the Hall’s 2021 class are Paul Pierce, Chris Webber, Ben Wallace, Toni Kukoc, Bob Dandridge and Clarence Jenkins. Also entering as part of the 2021 class will be Villanova coach Jay Wright, former WNBA players Yolanda Griffith and Lauren Jackson, and former NBA coaches Rick Adelman, Cotton Fitzsimmons and Bill Russell, who already is enshrined as a player. In all, 16 inductees will be presented for enshrinement Saturday.

In addition to his four NBA Finals appearances with the Heat, Bosh was part of the United States gold-medal team at the 2008 Olympics, with collegiate and international play also factored into Hall consideration.

Bosh had been eligible for the Hall’s 2020 class, but the shrine opted for a more intimate induction ceremony because of the presence of Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan and Kevin Garnett’s in that year’s class. That induction was delayed until earlier this year due to the pandemic.


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