Heat raise Bosh's No. 1 jersey to the rafters

Bosh wanted to show his family that dad was 'a bad man' (2:14)

Chris Bosh tells Scott Van Pelt how special it is to share his jersey retirement ceremony with his family and looks ahead to his future away from the NBA. (2:14)

MIAMI -- Chris Bosh couldn't end his night -- one full of great memories, emotional tributes and colorful stories -- without a rendition of the scream he made famous during the Big Three era.

So he unleashed a ferocious yell of "Come on!" to Miami Heat fans, and they gave it right back -- and more.

On Tuesday, Bosh became the fourth Heat player -- joining Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway and Shaquille O'Neal -- to have his jersey lifted to the rafters of AmericanAirlines Arena. The fans rose to their feet as Bosh's No. 1 ascended and several Heat greats paid him tribute.

"When I was down and out, when I was going through things, you guys taught me how to rebound," Bosh said. "Thank you."

All of the current Heat players and several from past teams, including Mourning, Shane Battier and Juwan Howard, were on the court to watch the ceremony.

Heat president Pat Riley spoke for the group, saying: "He's not just a superstar. He's an incredible super human. I just want to welcome Chris Bosh, forever and always, a lifer of the Miami Heat."

Dwyane Wade introduced Bosh as "one of the greatest players to ever live" and "the piece and the person that made the Big Three era legendary." Wade also acknowledged Bosh as the "greatest videobomber in NBA history."

Wade wrote on Instagram on Wednesday that it was "priceless" to be able to be part of Bosh's moment.

Bosh spoke last, and of course he had plenty of jokes at Wade's expense. He also was emotional at several points in the ceremony and delivered a portion of his speech in Spanish to recognize Miami's large Spanish-speaking community, a move that drew enthusiastic cheers.

Bosh immortalized his place in Heat history during Game 6 of the 2013 NBA Finals.

His offensive rebound of LeBron James' missed shot and pass to Ray Allen for the game-tying 3-pointer near the end of regulation was the defining play of the Heat's run to a second consecutive title.

Riley called it the "biggest rebound and assist in the history of the franchise."

Bosh also will be remembered as one of the trailblazers for what has become the stretch-5 position. His combination of size, athleticism, speed, playmaking ability and, later in his career, 3-point shooting made him a rare talent in NBA history.

His colorful personality, selflessness in one of the era's first superteams and dominance over the 13 NBA seasons he played speak for themselves.

"I'll see you guys in Springfield," Bosh said half-jokingly about the Basketball Hall of Fame in Massachusetts. "It's easy. I was pretty good, so I'll make it pretty easy on the committee."

Bosh's bout with blood clots ended his NBA career. He spent multiple years talking to doctors, lawyers and the Heat in an effort to resume playing, to no avail.

Bosh revealed Tuesday that what kept him going were the thousands of letters the Heat forwarded him from fans, a collection of well-wishes he often read on his worst days. He grew emotional discussing what they meant to him.

"You guys inspired me to come back to the court. You guys gave me the motivation to walk across the room on my hardest days when I didn't have the energy," Bosh said. "Picking me up when I'm down, that's what Miami is to me."

Bosh has wondered what might have been had the blood clots never happened -- perhaps a third ring and a chance to leave the game on his own terms -- but he looked to his family as a reason he moved past that.

He played his last game in February 2016, at 31 years old. He didn't get a farewell tour like Wade, something he jokingly said he lamented on Tuesday.

Yet Bosh stood at center court at AmericanAirlines Arena, just days after his 35th birthday, appearing 100 percent at peace. There was no sorrow in his eyes -- just a lot of appreciation for the love he got from Heat fans and players.

"People forget that when he was here, the Big Three, he was the guy who sacrificed the most," Heat guard Goran Dragic said. "He was the franchise player in Toronto, who got all the attention and shots. Not many people are willing to sacrifice that for the team, and he did. That speaks to his character and his legacy. He ended his career as one of the greats, and he won two championships, but I remember his selflessness too."

At one time, Bosh -- who was the Raptors' all-time leading scorer when he left Toronto in free agency -- was focused on how much he sacrificed, but he had a different perspective on Tuesday.

"I only sacrificed the belief that you have to feed your ego and have certain numbers to quantify your success," Bosh said. "That's an important lesson in this digital age."

One important figure in Bosh's career -- LeBron James -- was absent because the Los Angeles Lakers had a game Tuesday night, as well, but James sent a message via social media.

"I wish I could be there, man, to see that No. 1 go into the rafters," James said.

James told ESPN he considered skipping the Lakers game to go to Miami but thought better of it.

"The first thing that went through my mind was how pissed I was that I can't be there," James told ESPN. "I literally thought about it. I was like, 'S---, we're out of the playoffs, I might just take a game off and go to Miami just so I can be there.' But then again, I thought about it more, and listen, I got business to still take care of here. And he will definitely understand that.

"And then I just thought it was well-deserved. Without CB completing the Big Three, we don't do what we did in Miami for those four years."

James called Bosh an "underappreciated player" whose talent could have excelled in any era.

"He's one of the best players I ever played with ... one of the best players I've ever had," James told ESPN. "And I remember in 2010 when I was trying to make my decision, I wanted to be with Bosh. I didn't know if it was going to be in Chicago or if it was going to be elsewhere. I didn't know where it was going to be, but I knew that I wanted to be with him."

Bosh ranks fifth among all Heat players in scoring, averaging 18 points per game. He said his production in crunch time and big games is the individual accomplishment he is the most proud of in his career.

One moment stood out for Miami coach Erik Spoelstra: After the Heat lost Game 3 to the Indiana Pacers to fall behind 2-1 in the 2012 Eastern Conference finals, Spoelstra said it felt like "things were clashing." He was decompressing with his staff when Bosh knocked on his hotel suite at 2 a.m. in Indiana with beers in his hand.

"He was just there as a friend," Spoelstra said. "He was there for 45 minutes, and we didn't talk one ounce of basketball."

Bosh said that was one of his favorite memories, too.

"What could be more normal than just two dudes having a couple of beers and watching some basketball?" he said.

Videobombing is how many fans also remember Bosh. He began sneakily creeping up behind players who were getting interviewed on TV, and it started a viral trend that lasted throughout his career and that many players have continued.

"I just wanted to think of creative ways to be silly and have fun, man," Bosh said.

The Heat crowd, noticeably larger and louder than it has been for much of the season, erupted every time Bosh was shown on the video board throughout the game. At one point late in the second quarter, Bosh stood up to acknowledge the love.

Despite a 104-99 loss to the Orlando Magic in a crucial matchup for playoff implications, many Heat fans went home with a smile because of Bosh.

Bosh left open the door to joining the Heat organization in some capacity in the future if it worked for both sides, but he said he felt good closing the door on his playing career. He has dabbled in making music, and he was presented with a custom guitar as one of his gifts.

It also was announced that March 26 will be known as Chris Bosh Day in Miami-Dade County.

Bosh said that Tuesday's event didn't bring closure, but it was special.

"Today, I feel great. I'm happy. I'm healthy," Bosh said. "I'm excited to explore life out of basketball."

ESPN's Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.