This week the Miami Heat made their way to Atlantis Resort and Casino in The Bahamas to start their training camp. The Heat have done training camp in The Bahamas before, but this time isn’t as star-studded as before, absent were the stalwarts of the mythical 2014 squad, guys like Lebron James, who returned to Cleveland to lead that team to its first ever NBA title, Dwyane Wade, who returned to his hometown Chicago and Chris Bosh who, still in the prime of his career, was expected to keep this team relevant until the end of the 2010s.
His departure was more abrupt that Lebron and Wade’s. On Friday Miami Heat power forward Chris Bosh was announced to have failed a physical because of a blood clotting problem that surfaced two seasons ago. It seems that Bosh’s career in Miami is over.
The Heat seem to believe that the potential of what could happen to Chris Bosh on the court because of his clotting issue, more specifically: stroke, heart attack, brain aneurysm or even sudden death is too much to risk. Bosh believes he can play with the help of anticoagulants (or blood thinners if you don’t like big fancy words) and that The Heat’s reasons for not clearing him to play have more to do with ridding themselves of his hefty salary than concerns for his health.
We have no way to know if the team is genuinely concerned more for Bosh’s health or for their own coffers but I personally believe that playing with the potential for blood clots is a borderline suicidal idea that may very well result in an on-court tragedy not unlike what happened to Hank Gathers or Reggie Lewis, so off the top Bosh shouldn’t be playing. But I can also tell you from experience that playing NBA basketball on blood thinners is a terrible idea.
I’ve had a heart condition that carried with it the potential of blood clots and for over a year and a half I had to live on anticoagulants. There’s no way someone can play in the NBA on those kinds of drugs. Here’s why:
You Bruise way too easily
Daily life on blood thinners is a world of pain. Lay on your side on a bed, your pelvis will bruise. Sit on a hard chair, your ass will bruise. I went ice skating for the first time when I was on blood thinners. That ended terribly.
Now trade laying on your side or sitting on a hard chair for going elbow for elbow with with Zach Randolph and Blake Griffin every day. Like I said, world of pain.
Hell the Miami Heat are known for their long and physically intensive practices. Udonis Haslem would have Bosh’s torso purple and blue after about a half hour. Imagine playing a grueling 82 games and all the practices in between like that?
You bleed….and bleed and bleed
Anticoagulants work by basically delaying the amount of time it takes for your blood to clot. The problem with that is that if you get an open wound, or even a scrape, it take a long time to heal.
When I was on blood thinners a fan fell on my foot. Not a heavy industrial metal fan, one of the cheap ass ones in your living room that keep you alive through the summer. The cut was a superficial one, more severe than a scrape but definitely not one that needed stitches.
I was only able to clean it up to where I can put a band-aid on it after putting pressure on it for about an hour. It wouldn’t close for two weeks. At the end of that span most of my socks had red spots on them.
Imagine all the scrapes, cuts and gashes that NBA players incur on a daily basis just practicing? The Heat’s cut man would have to basically follow him around their practice facility with an endless supply of band-aids and gauze. If he gets cut in a game it’s infomercial time.
Your Digestive System Gets Weird
Certain types of blood thinners wear your stomach lining out. You’re advised to take them after meals but it doesn’t matter. Meal or not, a person on blood thinners will experience severe stomach aches and dry heaving the second they experience anything even resembling hunger.
Other things happen too, like severe and chronic acid reflux. And you don’t even have to be hungry for these things to happen, just work out hard and you’d break out in a coughing fit like you’re about to die. Do you know who works out really hard? NBA players!
The real awful part about what blood thinners does to your digestive system is that the problems don’t end when you come off them. It’s been over 5 years since I stopped blood thinners and my stomach still aches when I’m hungry, I still dry-heave when I work out too hard and I still have chronic acid reflux, though not as severely as when I was on blood thinners. With Bosh’s clotting issues he’ll have to be on blood thinners pretty much indefinitely and would have to deal with these digestive issues for pretty much the rest of his life. No bueno.
A Million other weird things
Blood thinners changes your life in weird ways that most people take for granted. People on blood thinners have to follow a strict diet that forbids him from eating green vegetables like spinach and broccoli, they have get blood tests ran periodically, usually weekly, to measure their clotting time, which means a long needle getting stuck in a vein on your arm. They cough up blood when they have a cold, they can’t floss, they have to take precautions when they go to the dentists and loads of other inconveniences that I can’t even remember.
Some of the things people on blood thinners have to deal with on may not amount to much individually but the totality of life on blood thinners can be overwhelming. And you can multiply that for someone with a job as physically and mentally intensive as playing in the NBA. It’s hard to imagine how he can do it.