Chris Bosh Deserved More Than Our Jokes And Underappreciation

From all indications, we may be on the brink of the end of an era.

The era is that of Chris Bosh as a player in the National Basketball Association, and the indications include a recently failed physical, reoccurring blood clots, and 44 and 53 games played over the last two seasons, respectively.

For his part, Bosh isn't so convinced that it's over, acknowledging the current situation as nothing more than a little setback and vowing a return to action soon. While his outlook on his future in the league may be optimistic in general, the circumstances of his relationship with the Miami Heat specifically are decidedly less so. Bosh's health had been at the center of a conflict with the team since last season's All-Star break, culminating with the involvement of the NBPA. This latest development feels like the last straw, the one that, indeed, breaks the camel's back.

For now, a retirement announcement appears to be off the table, but those of us who wish Bosh the joy of seeing his kids graduate from high school, the overwhelming emotions of attending their weddings or the pride and joy of watching them get drafted into the NBA or WNBA someday, are hoping, admittedly without any medical expertise, that the words will come soon even though they will be difficult to hear.

It would be easier if we didn't have any regrets, but that's rarely the luck of the draw for fans or players at the close of a career. We often wonder what could have been. In Bosh's case, however, we will be asking a question of an even more nagging effect. Why wasn't what we had good enough?

Chris Bosh has been the butt of way too many of our jokes. And when his prestigious role as punchline wasn't entertaining enough, we resorted to minimizing his "Naismith-ian" gifts, labeling him a third wheel and questioning his value in a championship nucleus that was often celebrated as a duo even though it was bought as a three-piece set.

The "Jordan Crying Face" has exposed the unlimited humor that can be received from the versatility of a photoshopped ugly cry. Lucky for Michael Jordan though, that unforgettable sob fest happened during the ultimate career high, a speech offered in response to a Hall of Fame Induction and not as a result of a career low, a painful playoff loss in a year in which his team was predicted to win it all. Bosh's manhood and toughness took hits a plenty from a moment that likely ranked as one of his greatest disappointments. Hopefully, though, we're just wishy-washy enough to be more forgiving of any tears that may fall as a result of him having to prematurely say goodbye to a game to which he's given so much.

He hasn't been able to show us how he can carry the Miami Heat to a respectable bid as a contender in the Eastern Conference first, in the absence LeBron James and now without Dwyane Wade. Besting the Cavs will be a tall order for the foreseeable future, but he would have done enough to prove how gracious it was of him to play the odd man out and enough to remind us of who he was before South Beach and why Pat Riley wanted him in the first place.

Even if retirement does not come soon, two things are for sure. Despite his hopefulness, it's reasonable to think we won't see Bosh on the court to start the 2016-2017 season. And the 11-time All-Star, Raptors all-time leading scorer and two-time NBA champion's legacy should not be in doubt.

He deserved much better than the meanest versions of our fandom.

Unfortunately, this moment is embarrassingly too late to realize that.

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