TORONTO – Chris Bosh’s All-Star participation for this year is over, before he ever took the floor in the city where his career began.
The Miami Heat forward has withdrawn from Saturday’s 3-point contest and Sunday’s All-Star Game, citing a strained right calf. Bosh — who will remain in Toronto for the weekend — was replaced on the Eastern Conference roster for Sunday’s game by Atlanta’s Al Horford, who was chosen by NBA commissioner Adam Silver to fill the vacated spot.
Portland’s C.J. McCollum will fill Bosh’s spot in the 3-point event, keeping that field at eight as planned.
“I am honored to be selected to participate in All-Star Weekend festivities and will still be here to support my fellow East All-Stars,” Bosh said in a statement released through the Heat. “But I will also use this weekend to try to heal and focus on the second half of the Heat season.”
Bosh’s injury and Horford’s addition to the roster were first reported by Yahoo Sports.
The circumstances of how and when Bosh strained his calf were not made clear. He worked out Wednesday night in Miami in preparation for the 3-point contest, flew to Toronto on Thursday and was in the audience at the NBA All-Star Technology Summit Friday morning before joining the other East All-Star selections for interview sessions with reporters.
Bosh did not mention the injury during that media availability, nor in an subsequent brief interview with AP.
“I’m just happy to be here for myself and my family, to accomplish some things and some goals that I said I was going to do,” Bosh told AP when asked what reaction he expected from fans in Toronto, where he played his first seven pro seasons. “It’s really cool to actually do them.
“It does have significance being here and being able to just really take in the experience and be an All-Star again in the city where I pretty much grew up.”
In other All-Star Weekend news, Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson headlined a list of 14 finalists for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced on Friday.
Three-time NBA Finals MVP O’Neal, nine-time NBA All-Star Iverson, three-time NBA All-Star Kevin Johnson and four-time WNBA champion Sheryl Swoopes joined eight coaches, a referee and a record-setting women’s team (Wayland Baptist University) as finalists for election in 2016.
Absent from the announcement was Yao Ming, whose nomination falls within the Direct Elect International Committee. Enshrinees from the Direct Elect Committees will be recognized at the NCAA Men’s Final Four in Houston in April.
The other finalists included college coaches Tom Izzo, Charles “Lefty” Driesell, Bo Ryan, Eddie Sutton, Muffet McGraw, the first African-American coach in a professional league John McLendon and high school coaches Leta Andrews and Robert Hughes. Referee Darell Garretson served as an NBA official for 27 years, officiating 1,798 regular season games, including 269 playoff games and 41 Finals games.