Chris Bosh Just Cashed the Last of His Bobby Bonilla-Type Checks From the Heat That Paid Him More Than Larry Bird and Magic Johnson Made Their Entire Careers

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Chris Bosh

Deferred payments are more common than you think in professional sports, but some are certainly more notable than others.

The most high-profile case, of course, belongs to six-time MLB All-Star Bobby Bonilla, who turned the $5.9 million he was owed by the New York Mets following the 1999 season into $29.75 million by deferring payment for more than a decade. He’s been cashing $1.19 million checks every July 1 since 2011 and will continue to do so until 2035.

So that’s the case most sports fans know.

One you may not, however, is that of two-time NBA champion Chris Bosh, who just cashed the last of his deferred checks from the Miami Heat, checks that paid him nearly twice the amount Bonilla will end up making.

Chris Bosh just cashed the last of his Bobby Bonilla-type checks from the Miami Heat

Chris Bosh
Chris Bosh | Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images

An 11-time NBA All-Star with the Toronto Raptors and Miami Heat, Bosh saw his Hall of Fame NBA career come to a heartbreaking conclusion after a blood clot condition affected his ability to take the floor. He appeared in just 97 regular-season games during his final two seasons in South Beach — his final two seasons in which he played, that is — and sat out the entire 2016-17 campaign.

On June 2, 2017, the NBA ruled the clotting issues to be a career-ending illness, which allowed the Heat to remove Bosh’s contract from their salary cap. But that could only happen if Miami released him, which Pat Riley did a short time later.

However, Bosh still had millions of dollars remaining on the five-year/$118 million guaranteed contract he’d signed in 2014, which would have kept him in Miami through the 2018-19 season had he stayed healthy.

But instead of having to fork over all that money at once or even over the two seasons he was supposed to play, a Bobby Bonilla-type deal was reached. For a 60-month span from November 1, 2017, to November 1, 2022, Bosh would receive twice-monthly checks in the amount of $434,393.

To save you the trouble of finding the calculator on your phone, that’s $52,127,160 that Bosh has been paid in the last five years without playing a game. To put that in some historical perspective, that’s more than double what Larry Bird made during his entire career with the Celtics and about $13 million more than Magic Johnson made in his with the Lakers.

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