NEW YORK – Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh returned to New York hours after his wife gave birth and is preparing to play in Game 3 of his team's Eastern Conference first-round series against the Knicks on Thursday night.
Bosh left the team shortly after it arrived in New York on Wednesday night, taking a private plane back to Miami after getting word that his wife was in labor. His son — the couple's first child — was born at 3 a.m. Thursday, said Heat coach Erik Spoelstra.
"A great moment for their family," Spoelstra said.
Bosh's plane touched down in the New York area around 4:30 p.m. Thursday and he was expected to arrive at Madison Square Garden long before the 7 p.m. tipoff.
"He's very excited," Spoelstra said. "While he may not be fully rested, he has an incredible amount of excitement right now."
Bosh's wife posted a photo of him holding his newborn son to a social media account early Thursday. On Wednesday, Bosh said he did not expect that the birth to be imminent.
"From a Dream, To a Thought, To Reality, To being in our Arms," Adrienne Bosh posted on Twitter a few hours after giving birth.
Many of Bosh's teammates can relate to what he's going through, juggling family responsibility with the demands of the playoffs. Shane Battier's wife delivered a girl last season while Memphis — Battier's former team — was facing San Antonio in the postseason. Mike Miller's wife gave birth during last season's Heat playoff run, and LeBron James' now-fiancee Savannah Brinson delivered their second child during Cleveland's appearance in the 2007 finals.
James and Dwyane Wade said they expected Bosh to be back for the game.
"It can be physically draining because you don't get much sleep while you're going through that whole process," James said. "But as far as mentally draining, I think the best way to deal with it is make sure the family's OK, make sure his wife of course is OK, and this is a great way to get away from it, to come back here and play the game of basketball."
Bosh averaged 15 points and 5 rebounds in the first two games of the series, which Miami led 2-0 heading into Thursday night.