MIAMI -- A gaping smile splashed across Chris Bosh's face as he entered the "Heat Family Room," located within the confines of a quiet AmericanAirlines Arena.
"They know I'm alright, right?" he asked Heat media relations after seeing a swarm of stone-faced media awaiting his presence. As his wiry seven-foot frame glided to the front of the room, it had to be an odd moment for the 31-year-old entering his 13th NBA season.
Not long ago he wasn't sure he'd live let alone step onto another NBA court, spending nine days in a hospital bed. Blood clots attacked his lungs after originating in his calf. Tubes were in his chest removing fluid so the two-time NBA champion could breathe. Today, he finds himself alone behind the microphone, sharing his journey back from the nightmare while bringing awareness to blood-clot prevention.
Bosh oozed with positivity, confirming he's been cleared for full-contact, is no longer on blood thinners, and is "ready to attack" Training Camp. Most importantly he doesn't possess the hereditary trait making him more prone to blood clots in the future. Had he possessed that genetic makeup -- such as Protein C deficiency (affecting approximately 1 in 500) -- he could be on blood thinning medication for life, thus ending his basketball career. Blood thinners and contact sports don't mix.
The common theme in Bosh's words was his forced time off has been a positive basketball-wise, renewing his hunger while seizing the present. The 10-time All-Star admitted his passion was waning before his health scare hit last February.
"I have the opportunity to go back out there and give passion to the game," Bosh said. "Because I think I was lacking a little passion for a while. Mentally, I can see myself just really continuing to have an excellent career as far as this season is concerned. It's such a great game. I came that close to losing it.
"I would rather be [playing back-to-backs] than have tubes in my chest. That sucks."
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