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Bosh ‘at peace’ with retirement as Heat retire his number

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By Agence France-Presse

Chris Bosh, who joined LeBron James and Dwyane Wade as the Miami Heat’s “Big Three” before blood clots ended his NBA career, saw his jersey No. 1 retired by the Heat on Tuesday.

Bosh turned up with his two NBA championship rings to be feted at AmericanAirlines Arena, where his jersey was raised to the rafters to hang alongside those of Heat greats Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal.

No doubt those of Wade, James and Udonis Haslem will one day join them. In the meantime Wade, playing what he says is his final NBA season, was content to introduce Bosh during the halftime ceremony, which followed video montages of some of Bosh’s signature moments in a Heat uniform.

Bosh, who turned 35 on Sunday, said that in 2016, after blood clots returned in his leg after first appearing on his lungs, he would not have contemplated a night like Tuesday.

“I didn’t even think of retirement,” he said. “I was more so concentrated on what was next for the team, what was next for myself, the next practice the next day, the next game, to get better. That was my mindset at the time.

“For everything to happen so fast, it just shows you how things can change.

“I’m humbled, I’m grateful for the experience that I’ve had here and in the league as a whole, and I have a different mindset now.

“Although we all do something and we get to experience things, you’ve got to cherish it because you never know when it’s going to stop.”

For a time Bosh stubbornly resisted the idea that he would have to retire, but he said that now he is “100 percent at peace” with retirement.

Bosh spent his first seven seasons with the Toronto Raptors, and when he joined superstars James and Wade in Miami in 2010 he was no longer the face of a franchise.

His individual stats declined as he became one of a leading trio, but the Heat contended for titles and Heat coach Erik Spoelstra still appreciates the adjustment Bosh made.

“You’re talking about somebody that was 25, 26 years old that was face of the franchise for his team that drafted him, goes into free agency, could’ve gotten full max contracts from multiple teams, but he chose to come here, sacrificed financially and — just as importantly — sacrificed a role,” Spoelstra said.

Bosh said that even more than the titles, he’ll remember the camaraderie of his Heat years.

“A lot of the older guys say, ‘Oh yeah, you’re going to remember the bus rides,’ and it’s true,” he said.

“Because those are the times when guys are trying to figure things out, picking guys up when guys are down, usually getting through the tough moments and having those moments of vulnerability with some of the best to play the game and share those experiences — not only do that, but prevail.”