Southeast Notes: Spoelstra, Bosh, Beal, Batum

Coach Erik Spoelstra continues to support Chris Bosh despite his ongoing feud with the organization, writes Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald. After failing his training camp physical over a blood clot issue and hearing from team president Pat Riley that his days with the Heat were likely over, Bosh responded with a video Friday in which he claims that he can still play and accuses Riley of not reaching out to him before announcing the news to reporters. The Heat denied Bosh’s charges, saying that Riley had called, texted and emailed Bosh and his agent in an attempt to set up a meeting. Regardless of the dispute and the pessimistic view of Bosh’s future in Miami, Spoelstra refused to criticize his former star. “I love Chris Bosh, his family. I said this so many times, Chris was very important to me as a head coach,” Spoelstra said. “With those teams, he was somebody I really leaned on. That extended outside the lines. It’s something I really have enjoyed and my hope is that relationship can continue.” Those comments were echoed by many of Bosh’s teammates, including Udonis Haslem, who said, “It’s not easy just to walk away.”

There’s more tonight from the Southeast Division:

  • The WizardsBradley Beal returned to practice today after clearing the concussion protocol, writes J. Michael of CSNMidAtlantic. Beal had been sidelined since Wednesday after taking an inadvertent elbow to the head from Ian Mahinmi. After enjoying what Michael called his best shooting day since camp began, Beal lashed out at critics who say he is hurt too often. “People make it seem like I’m trying to get hurt,” he said. “I’m not, ‘Hit me on the head this play.’ It just happens. It could be anybody in that position. That’s not going to stop me from being aggressive and continuing to play hard.”
  • With five free agents in the starting lineup last season, Nicolas Batum believes the Hornets were able to be successful because no one was focused on their contracts, relays Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. Batum and Marvin Williams both got big money to stay in Charlotte, while Jeremy Lin, Al Jefferson and Courtney Lee all went elsewhere. “[Fans] talked a lot about contracts, because of [so many] free agents. But we forgot about that and played for the team and for the city,” Batum said. “Contracts work themselves out. We lost Jeremy and Big Al and C-Lee, but we’ve got [Michael Kidd-Gilchrist] back. We’re getting Marco [Belinelli] and Big Roy [Hibbert]. I think we got better.”

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