The block. The clutch rebound. The pivotal pass. Four Finals. Two championships.
Yeah, Chris Bosh accomplished a lot in his six years with the Miami Heat. It was more than enough to have his No. 1 jersey retired to the rafters.
Bosh’s number now sits alongside the jerseys of Heat royalty – Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway and Shaquille O’Neal.
“My name, my family name up here, that’s something I used to get laughed at for dreaming of,” Bosh said during his jersey retirement ceremony. “So never let anyone tell you that you can’t accomplish your dream.”
The lifting of the jersey took place at halftime during the Heat’s Tuesday night contest against the Orlando Magic.
The arena lights dimmed and a tribute video came on. Bosh watched on as his best moments were replayed for the fans in attendance.
A few moments later Heat president Pat Riley took to the podium, heaping praise on the 35-year-old Bosh.
“I just want to welcome Chris Bosh, forever, and for always, a lifer of the Miami Heat,” Riley said as he pointed to the rafters and called for the jersey to be lifted. “To never be taken down – No. 1.”
Dwyane Wade, whose jersey will soon be hanging at the AmericanAirlines Arena, acknowledged Bosh’s in-game achievements and off-court accomplishments before introducing his former teammate.
“To one of my good friends. To one of the greatest basketball players that’s ever lived. To the piece, to the person, that made the ‘Big 3’ era legendary, Christopher Bosh,” he said.
There Bosh stood – the 6′ 11″ power forward whose career was unfortunately cut short because of blood clots.
“As everybody knows back in 2015 I had a health scare. Days in the hospital, tubes right here in my chest, I could barely walk,” Bosh said. “And then one day, on my road to recovery, the Heat organization sent piles and piles of letters from all of you guys, Heat nation. I want you to know that I read those. Those letters pushed me to get back on the court. Those letters inspired me to get back up and walk across the room when I didn’t have the energy to do it, when I didn’t think I could do it.”
But this night wasn’t about what could’ve been, it was about what was – and he was a winner who wore his emotions on his sleeve.
“See, my whole career I just wanted to play in front of passionate fans, and you guys made that come true,” he said. “And when our backs were against the wall in Game 6, you see you guys may not know this, but you gave my legs the extra spring, that extra oomph, that spirit, that I needed to keep my head in the game and grab the biggest rebound in NBA history.”
Then, with one final roar from Bosh and the crowd, the ceremony came to a close just like he closed out wins.
William is the Managing Editor at FloridaInsider.com. His years of experience in journalism, broadcasting and multimedia include roles as a Writer and Web Producer. He graduated from Florida International University with a Bachelor of Science and Communication.