And with that, the Heat's Big Three era ended with an unfortunate whimper.
The book on one of the most fascinating periods in league history is closed with the end just as abrupt and surprising as the beginning. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Bosh are now all gone and all of them now harbor a level of animus toward the organization where they won two championships along their glamour-filled ride.
It left Bosh, in the midst of a health and existential crisis, to begin to feel nostalgia for the Heatles era.
"I look back on that time and I would describe it as epic. And I thought it was going to keep going," Bosh said in his documentary, which carries a now ironic title of "Rebuilt."
"We had Bron, we had D [Wade]. I realize how special it was now. Back then we ate together, we practiced together, we played together all the time. We don't have it any more and I'm tripping. It was just a few years ago -- not even a few -- two years ago we're playing for a championship. Everybody's gone."
James left to go home to Ohio and tried to exit on good terms. But there's been enough passive-aggressive barbs tossed by James and Riley without mentioning each other's names over the last two years to know that a peaceful breakup was probably impossible. That Bosh was using James' digital media platform, Uninterrupted, to criticize the team in recent days is just another example in their own little cold war.
Wade walked out on the Heat over the summer, the most popular player in franchise history growing frustrated by a series of contract disputes and perceived disrespect. Riley said Monday he had composed an email to Wade with all his thoughts on the matter but hadn't yet pushed send. Now Bosh, who also had a communication breakdown with the franchise as the sides ended up communicating via podcasts, online videos and press releases.
It was a far cry from the "not five, not six, not seven" days. The Heat burned bright but also burned fast. The circumstances surrounding the collapse of perhaps the most famous team in league history are complex. There are so many facets to what happened, there's no use trying to assign blame or start finger-pointing, it all just re-enforces the fragility of the NBA.
Role players got old and retired. New salary cap rules ravaged the team's options and led ownership to make hard decisions. James felt the call of home. Riley made some misreads. Bosh ran into a terrible and unforeseen medical issue.
Between 2010-13, the Heat went on a historic organizational winning streak. From their stunning player acquisitions to their sponsorship deals to their promotions to the chic nightclub within the arena, Miami was very much the center of the basketball universe. The White Stripes' "Seven Nation Army" blaring with fans all dressed in white clapping in unison on the shores of Biscayne Bay was the essence of cool. And James' MVPs and Ray Allen's clutch 3-pointers were the essence of greatness.
It was truly, as Bosh said, epic. And now it's gone with a layer of bitterness floating on the surface.
Riley was doing what he felt he had to do Monday, as the team was in a difficult corner as they tried to respect Bosh's health struggle but also deal with a medical and financial reality that is a part of the business of basketball. Riley is both eloquent and ruthless, the combination was a driving force in putting the Heat together. And it played a part in driving it apart.
"I realize how special it was now. Back then we ate together, we practiced together, we played together all the time. We don't have it any more and I'm tripping. It was just a few years ago -- not even a few -- two years ago we're playing for a championship. Everybody's gone."
Chris Bosh, via his documentary series, "Rebuilt"
It is time for the team to move on, the same conclusion James and Wade had when they were presented with challenging choices. Perhaps they took some of these lessons from Riley, even if those pearls were unintended. Between Riley, James, Wade and Bosh, they have four of the most unique stories in the history of the league. This final chapter fits in to a mighty story arc.
At some point in the future, Wade, James and Bosh will be back together in Miami. Jerseys will be retired, perhaps a statue or two will be erected, cheers will return, the White Stripes' chords with shake the building again. The NBA is always changing, these events are a reminder. And time heals all wounds. And right now, there are wounds on all sides here. Shaquille O'Neal coming back to get his jersey sent to the rafters in a few months is a reminder of that.
Then everyone will reminisce about just how incredible and awesome the Big Three era was and muse about why it all had to end so soon.
It was awesome. And it sure is over.