Chris Bosh is still hurting from the abdominal injury that kept him out of 9 playoff games during the Miami Heat's run to an NBA title, so he has nixed his London Olympic plans.
The Miami Heat forward told USA Basketball on Friday that he is withdrawing from consideration for the London Games so he can continue recovering from the injury. Bosh announced the decision through agent Henry Thomas one day after Heat teammate Dwyane Wade pulled out of the Olympic mix because of looming left knee surgery.
The 2008 Olympics were one of the key events that brought Miami's Big Three together two years later. Now, only LeBron James will be able to help Team USA defend its gold medal.
"This injury was a pretty serious one," Thomas said. "He was able to come back and play under the circumstances because he was trying to contribute to them winning a championship. There's still pain. There's still discomfort. And the real concern is if he doesn't rest and do the rehab associated with the injury, this could become sort of a chronic thing for him."
Bosh made the decision after consulting with Heat team physician Dr. Harlan Selesnick and others, calling USA Basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski and team chairman Jerry Colangelo on Friday to deliver the word.
"He wanted to be part of it," Thomas said. "It was a great experience in `08. Feels like it could be another one. The exposure he would get being part of that team is something he would like. But at the end of the day, his health going forward is more important than all of those things."
Heat President Pat Riley said after the NBA draft ended late Thursday night that the team was leaving the decision on whether to play in London up to Bosh. Concerns that playing in the Olympics would expose Bosh to increased risk of aggravating the injury and missing time when the Heat defend its championship in 2012/13.
The Olympic team convenes in Las Vegas next week to start training camp, then has five exhibitions with international teams before opening Olympic play against France on July 29. USA Basketball plans to announce the Olympic roster around July 7. Right now, the team includes 16 players vying for 12 spots.
Bosh hurt his abdominal late in the first half of Game 1 of Miami's second-round series against Indiana. He did not return until late in the Eastern Conference title series against the Boston Celtics, but the Heat seemed like a much different team with him back in the rotation.
The Heat lost his first game back, though Bosh's minutes were limited. In the final 7 games of the playoffs, Miami won 6 with Bosh playing significant minutes off the bench or starting. He returned to the starting lineup in Game 2 of the NBA Finals, whereupon Miami reeled off four straight victories en route to the championship.
Bosh scored 19 points in Miami's Game 7 win against the Celtics, sending the Heat into the NBA Finals against the Oklahoma City Thunder. Bosh averaged 14.6 points and 9.4 rebounds in the Finals.
As with Wade, Heat fans will probably be disappointed not to see Bosh in the mix with Team USA, but will gladly trade that to eliminate the risk that Bosh hurt himself in London and jeopardize his team's chances at defending a title next season.