This was well after Chris Bosh was honored at midcourt Friday night at FTX Arena for his induction prior to the season into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The moment came as Erik Spoelstra was walking back to the coaching suite following his team’s 120-108 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder.
There, coach and center from the Heat’s 2012 and ‘13 championship teams paused for a moment together to discuss what might have been.
Or, more to the point, what could have been even at this moment.
At 37, Bosh is only 14 months older than current Heat starting power forward P.J. Tucker. But after dual bouts with blood clots and the inherent dangers of pushing forward, Bosh finds himself five years removed from a game that looks little like what he left behind.
And that, Spoelstra and Bosh agreed, is a shame when it came to career timing.
“You look at it now, we would have used him so much differently,” Spoelstra said of the intervening change in NBA playing style, where Bosh’s outside shooting and defensive versatility have become touchstones of league success in the 2020s. “It crazy how much differently I would have used him. I just didn’t have the library, the thought, the creativity, the thought process at that time. And it’s a shame. He really could have unlocked his skill level.
“He would be a perfect fit with this team, and that would be with Bam [Adebayo]. He’d be incredible. But the way he could space the floor, his skill level, his ability to draw fouls, his ability to put the ball on the floor and create. In this kind of game now, if I just had the foresight at all to be able to see this ahead of time, he would have been even better, if there’s another level of Hall of Fame. So I’ll take the hit on that one.”
While moments such as Friday’s halftime ceremony have allowed Bosh to remain in touch with the game and also have softened the blow of a premature end to his career, he said he can’t help but consider the types of what-ifs raised by Spoelstra.
“With the way the play is going on now,” Bosh said from the same podium where he previously had spoken following Heat playoff games, “it’s amazing just to see the spread and the movement and playing faster. And now you can shoot it, and nobody will say anything. You can just shoot the shots you want.
“For me, I didn’t know it would be this fast and this many threes; I’m not going to lie to you. But I remember, even in the last couple of years I was playing, especially that last year, I was feeling like, ‘I shot five threes today. I can shoot more. And I think we can play a little faster.’
“I do miss the game, not in a sense where I want to play it. I am definitely envious of the guys who get to play in this era of ball.”
In that regard, amid his travels and off-court pursuits, perhaps it is better the interactions with Adebayo are somewhat limited.
“I told Bam all the time, I would shoot way more if I was in that offense,” Bosh said with a smile. “It wouldn’t even be close. He’s more giving.”
From the outside, Bosh said it remains apparent what still burns inside the Heat, something he said bodes well for the impending playoff run.
“I mean, just the fact that they’ve been able to sustain the play throughout all the injuries and guys being out during COVID and the different lineup switches and stuff like that, anytime you’re coming into this part of the season having homecourt advantage is what you want, Bosh said.
“They’re a complete team. I know they want to get more minutes with their main guys, with [Kyle] Lowry and Bam and all this stuff, but I’m sure as the season wears on and as they continue to figure it out, they’ll be able to come around and compete. You’re going to have to beat them here, and that’s not going to be an easy task.
“I mean, really the sky’s the limit for this team, on top of what they can do regarding this year and the years after.”
Source: Berkshire mont