Sunday, February 22, 2015

Chris Bosh’s career could be in peril in twist of fate for Heat

By Marc Berman

In 24 hours, it has gone from Dragic to tragic for the Heat.
One day after their coup of landing crafty point guard Goran Dragic, Pat Riley’s franchise was in mourning over the prospect of Chris Bosh’s season — and perhaps career — ending.
Less than a week ago, Bosh was gracing the Garden as an Eastern Conference All-Star and teammate of Carmelo Anthony’s.
But now Bosh is laid up in the hospital after sufferingwhat is suspected to be a pulmonary embolism — a condition in which an arterty in the lungs becomes clogged when a blood clot breaks off and travels to the lungs. It can be a life-threatening issue if not treated quickly by blood thinners.
According to multiple sources in the medical community, there is a debate on whether it is safe to play contact sports on blood thinners because of the fear of uncontrollable internal — and external — bleeding.
Dealing with the aftermath of blood clots is a tricky business and there’s another scenario in which Bosh could be on lifetime blood thinners if blood tests reveal he has an auto-immune disease related to his being prone to blood clots.
The gravity of the situation was evident when Knicks coach Derek Fisher began his pregame press conference before facing the Heat at the Garden by paying tribute to the power forward.
“First I want to send my thoughts and prayers to Chris Bosh and his family that he is OK and will be OK,” Fisher said. “It’s tough for anybody in our business to get that news.’’
The Heat would not yet confirm Bosh’s exact condition other than to say he’s undergoing tests in a hospital. A CAT scan, however, is a very quick, decisive method of finding blood in the lungs.

Dwyane Wade and BoshPhoto: AP
“I’ve been in contact with him,’’ Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. “He’s in great care. Everything is premature. We’re still collecting as much information as we can. It’s too premature. As soon as we collect all data, we’ll come up with some announcement.’’
The only hope to play this season is if the pulmonary embolism is considered minor and Bosh would only need blood thinners for three months. However, it’s standard to prescribe blood thinners for one year after a pulmonary embolism.
Bosh awaits a battery of tests on his blood and heart, including a stress test, before anyone can safely say he can play in the NBA, according to medical experts.
“He’s in a good spirits,’’ Spoelstra said. “CB always is. Right now we’re just living in a day-to-day world, like we have all season. We’ve developed character from going through these adversities.’’

The Bosh bombshell took the luster from the Heat’s trade for Dragic at the deadline in a move some thought easily would get them into the playoffs and perhaps make them a threat with Bosh having a terrific season.
The Knicks were trying to get into the mix for Dragic, but didn’t have a draft pick they could trade sooner than their 2018 selection.
“He’s a dynamic explosive playmaker, his ability to get in the paint,’’ Spoelstra said of Dragic. “His ability to make other guys better. Another guy who can attack off the dribble. We’ve liked him for a long time. It’s a good fit for the organization. We’re excited about it.’’
Dragic is expected to re-sign with the Heat, who have his Bird rights and can offer him five years. The Knicks, on Dragic’s short list, could only offer four years.
Fisher said Miami helped itself and the Knicks remain on path to a future of cap space after trading Pablo Prigioni for the expiring contract of Russian guard Alexey Shved. Dragic was taking his physical and not yet available for Friday’s contest.
“I’m sure Miami is happy,’’ Fisher said. “We’re catching them without [Dragic], but we’ll obviously be seeing a lot of him for the next few years to come, assuming he’s back there next season.
“Many teams were deciding what their priorities were. Teams made some moves to make jumps up to the top of their conference. Other teams stayed put planning for the future. For us, we made the moves that were available to keep us in line what our goals are going forward. We know what kind of forward we’re potentially able to have this year and next year.’’

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