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'It was heartbreaking': Former Raptor Chris Bosh's new book details struggle after career cut short

Last Updated Jun 3, 2021 at 9:06 pm EDT

In his new book, 'Letters to a Young Athlete,' Bosh details his experience of adjusting to sudden life changes but also his journey to greatness. Credit: Penguin Random House

Former Raptor Chris Bosh still can’t believe he got “the call” — in early May the 11-time NBA All-Star received a phone call while he was helping his kids finish homework that he would be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts.

“I always wanted to be a Hall of Famer, but it was just an aspiration,” he told CityNews.

Bosh was drafted by the Toronto Raptors in 2004 and would later go on to join LeBron James and Dwayne Wade in Miami where they helped the Heat win back-to-back NBA Championships. In 13 NBA seasons, he averaged 19.2 points and 8.5 rebounds per game.

The 37-year-old began experiencing blood clot problems in 2015. In 2017 the blood clots returned which led to the Heat waiving Bosh and just two years later he had to abruptly end his career.

In his new book, ‘Letters to a Young Athlete,’ Bosh details his experience of adjusting to sudden life changes but also his journey to greatness.

“It pretty much started when I had to retire right before my 32 birthday and I found myself out of the league and out of the game. I was heartbroken.” Bosh said. “The game goes on and life goes on, but I just found myself trying to cope with the pain and one of the outlets was writing.”

The book is part advice and part memoir as Bosh reflects on his journey in the NBA which started with the Raptors.

“That’s one of the things I found myself really reflecting on, thinking about that little skinny 210-pound kid with no facial hair coming to Canada. I had never been to Toronto, I hadn’t even been to many NBA games. Toronto is where my NBA journey started and it was a great place to start,” he said.

However, Bosh says he does have one regret when it comes to his time in Toronto.

“Playoff games,” he said without hesitation. “I wanted to play more playoff games in Toronto. I was so happy for the City when they got that championship experience. That is one of the regrets of my career not having enough playoff games in Toronto. I truly feel I did miss out on an opportunity.”

The father of five admits he had a tough time dealing with his career ending so abruptly, but wrote down everything he was feeling. He hopes sharing his journey of the highs and the lows will not only help future basketball stars, but anyone chasing a dream.

“I eventually came to the point where I knew I could write something that could be a gift to young athletes or anyone trying to better themselves and reach their goals,” he said. “So the book is kind of my memento to the game of basketball and the game of life as well, because I think a lot of people can really benefit from it.”

Bosh and the rest of the Class of 2021 will be enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame on September 11.