DORAL, Fla. (AP) — Goran Dragic got the word he was getting traded to Miami and didn’t need long to start envisioning what it would be like to play alongside Chris Bosh.
That was nearly two years ago.
And they got a mere 44 games together.
Getting ready to play without Bosh has become an unfortunate tradition in Dragic’s tenure as point guard for the Heat. And with the team set to fly to the Bahamas on Monday for a training camp without not only Bosh but Dwyane Wade as well, Dragic knows his role with the Heat is about to expand in ways he likely could not have imagined.
“I feel for Chris,” Dragic said Saturday at an appearance where he signed autographs for fans at a team merchandise store. “This is real. We are playing basketball. And unfortunately, he cannot do that right now. I wish him all the best. But we already survived without a lot of key players, so hopefully we can do it this year.”
Bosh’s career figures to be in serious jeopardy now, after the Heat announced Friday that they were unable to clear him for basketball activities. Bosh had undergone medical examinations and was meeting with doctors in Miami and New York in the days before the Heat decision was announced.
“Setbacks may happen, but my intentions remain the same,” Bosh said on Twitter.
He wants to play, though the blood-clot problems that ended his 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons — and now are keeping his 2016-17 season from getting started — may make that impossible. The word that a clot was ending his season in February 2015 came on the same day that the Heat traded for Dragic, and Bosh missed every game after the All-Star break last season because of additional clot problems.
So instead of teaming with Wade — now with the Chicago Bulls — and Bosh, Dragic will be running an offense featuring newly signed center Hassan Whiteside, new additions like Dion Waiters and Wayne Ellington, and second-year players Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson.
“I was just disappointed, sad,” Dragic said, when asked what his reaction was to Friday’s news. “There was a lot of emotions involved. But it is what it is. I’m here to work. I’m here to play basketball. Of course, we wish him all the best.”
The Heat are not able to tell their side of the Bosh story, citing an NBA rule that “precludes a team from releasing certain medical information without a player’s consent.”
It’s unknown why Bosh won’t give that consent.
Bosh acknowledged in a video released Wednesday that doctors found multiple clots this past February, and said in a podcast on Sept. 14 that he’s ready to play. The Heat and doctors who have seen him since don’t agree.
Part of the story line that Bosh has put forward in his talks with Uninterrupted, LeBron James’ digital platform, is that he has been in contact with NHL player Tomas Fleischmann — someone who has been able to play hockey while taking bloodthinners because of his history of blood clots — and learned about the regimen he’s used over the past several seasons.
But Fleischmann failed his physical with the Minnesota Wild this weekend, though the team did not say if the reason was related to clotting problems.
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