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Heat president Pat Riley’s 18-year-old confession involving Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade

Heat, Pat Riley, Chris Bosh, Dwyane Wade

Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade are two of the most prominent members of the esteemed 2003 NBA Draft class. Bosh was selected fourth overall by the Toronto Raptors, which was quickly succeeded by the Miami Heat drafting Dwyane Wade at No. 5. For his part, however, Heat team president Pat Riley recently confessed that they actually had their eye on Chris Bosh.

According to the 76-year-old executive, the Heat would have taken Bosh over Wade had the former still been available:

“Absolutely,” Riley told Ira Winderman of the South Floride Sun Sentinel, “absolutely. And we were thinking about a big even before Dwyane, because of what happened with Zo [Alonzo Mourning’s kidney illness]. Yes, if Dwyane had gone to Toronto, we would have taken Chris.”

Riley clearly has no regrets over selecting Wade, though, as the Heat legend ended up becoming one of the greatest players in franchise history. Moreover, as destiny would have it, Wade and Bosh ended up becoming teammates in Miami some seven years later. They infamously formed the Heat Big 3 along with a guy you’ve probably heard about in the past — LeBron James.

Nevertheless, Bosh couldn’t help but imagine how things would have turned out for him had he gone to Miami in 2003:

“In my quest to get drafted, they were recruiting me,” Bosh said. “I still would have had some success, but I don’t know about their 2006 championship. Maybe, maybe not.

“I think I always would have fit the culture. Maybe in that alternate universe I get catapulted to stardom earlier, because it was different in Toronto. But who knows? Then maybe the [Heat] Big Three doesn’t get formed.”

Chris Bosh was officially inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday. I guess it’s safe to say that he would have ended up having a Hall of Fame career regardless of what path he took.