Tomorrow night, the Miami Heat will play the Orlando Magic. It's a huge game that has massive playoff implications. With fewer than ten games remaining, the two teams are neck-and-neck for the eighth and final seat at the Eastern Conference Finals table.
But none of it matters. The most memorable moment will take place during halftime.
It will have nothing to do with Orlando and everything to do with Miami's illustrious history and hopeful future. This Tuesday, the Heat will retire Chris Bosh's #1 jersey.
When that #1 rises to the rafters and the crowd gives a standing ovation, it will be the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.
It will be the farewell and thank-you to Chris Bosh the legend and hello to Chris Bosh the Miami resident and, let's hope, longtime Heat executive and ambassador.
Let's be honest: Bosh caught a boatload of shit in Miami. At every turn, people doubted him. He was never given the credit he deserved. He was personally attacked. He was mocked when he cried after the Heat's loss to the Mavericks in 2011. When he started shooting more three-pointers instead of sticking to his well-oiled post and midrange games in the name of helping the team, he was considered soft.
Bosh was never given his due for surrendering in the prime of his career to become the third option after Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. That selfless act was never fully appreciated. Even today, after Bosh was forced to retire from the NBA due to blood clots, he's underappreciated.
He deserved better from the national media and Heat fans, many of whom now pretend they always understood his value to Miami and the NBA. It's only right the team and Bosh continue their relationship beyond this Tuesday.
Without him, the Heat would likely be a team with one title instead of three. Bosh is a legend in Miami and should forever be treated on the same level as athletes such as Dan Marino and Udonis Haslem. Bosh deserves a thank-you from fans of one of the greatest and most respected sports franchises on the planet.
Tomorrow night, Miami will get a chance to thank Bosh for all of his contributions and letting Miami be a big part of his life, because anyone who has ever followed him and knows anything about him knows he's one-of-a-kind.
Thank you, Chris Bosh. From Miami and Heat fans to you and your family: We can't wait to see what the future holds for you.
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