Chris Bosh, the crucial third cog in the Miami Heat big three had his jersey retired by the team Tuesday (Mar.27) in an emotional ceremony in South Beach at American Airlines Arena.
It was a night full of laughter, loud cheers and fond memories as Chris Bosh became only the fourth player to have his jersey hung in the rafters. Bosh when he decided to leave his role as the leader on Toronto Raptors and join LeBron James and Dwyane Wade arguably sacrificed the most out of the three superstars, and the Miami fans rewarded him roaring ovations cause they knew he did.
“When I was down and out, when I was going through things, you guys taught me how to rebound thank you.”
With all of the current Heat players and members from past teams present including Alonzo Mourning, Shane Battier and Juwan Howard all on the court to pay tribute to the Heats stretch 5. Before Bosh spoke, Heat President Pat Riley had some glowing words for the colorful big man stating:
“He’s not just a superstar. He’s an incredible superhuman. I just want to welcome Chris Bosh, forever and always, a lifer of the Miami Heat.”
Riley even pointed out to Bosh’s pivotal offensive rebound and assist to Ray Allen for the game-tying 3-pointer which immortalized Bosh in Miami Heat lore forever calling it the”biggest rebound and assist in the history of the franchise.” The Heat would go on to secure a second championship besting the San Antonio Spurs after a game 7 victory.
Dwayne Wade who is currently on his farewell tour also introduced Bosh as “one of the greatest players to ever live” and described the versatile baller as “the piece and the person that made the Big Three era legendary.” Before he stepped away from the microphone, he acknowledged Bosh is the “greatest video bomber in NBA history,” no lies detected at all there.
His other Heatles teammate LeBron James couldn’t be in attendance but did shoutout Bosh on Twitter and after a Lakers victory over the Washington Wizards said he was contemplating taking the day off to attend but “NBA would have been on his ass.”
Finally, Bosh stepped to the mic and delivered a speech full of jokes at D-Wades expense pointing out he beat Wade to the punch in getting his jersey retired. He, of course, thanked the fans in both English and Spanish which earned him huge applause. It was when he spoke on that fan mail he received when his career was cut short due to his battle with blood clots.
“You guys inspired me to come back to the court. You guys gave me the motivation to walk across the room on my hardest days when I didn’t have the energy. Picking me up when I’m down, that’s what Miami is to me.”
Before he signed off, Bosh made sure to lead the crowd in one more thunderous roar, and they followed.
So salute to Chris Bosh on a fantastic NBA career that will definitely see him enshrined in the Hall of Fame with the rest of the greats where he belongs. To see more reactions from the night hit the gallery below.
Photo: Miami Herald / Getty