Udonis Haslem says he’s coming back for 20th year with Heat

MIAMI — Kobe Bryant. Dirk Nowitzki. And now, Udonis Haslem.

Miami’s captain is returning to the Heat for a 20th season, he introduced Sunday. It’s a one-year deal value $2.9 million; Miami prolonged the supply almost two months in the past, then waited for Haslem to resolve between retiring and returning.

Nowitzki performed all 21 of his NBA seasons with the Dallas Mavericks, Bryant spent all 20 of his seasons with the Los Angeles Lakers and when he seems in his subsequent recreation, Haslem will be part of them as a participant spending at the least twenty years within the league and all with one franchise.

“I have decided to follow through with what me and my father had talked about, and I will finish what I started and I will play 20 years,” Haslem stated, seated at midcourt at Miami High, his alma mater. “I will play this year, because I talked about that with my father and that’s what we said we would do. It won’t be the same. Won’t be as easy. But the goal still remains the same. Win. Win a championship. Leave it on the line and hold your head high when it’s all over.”

Tim Duncan spent 19 seasons with San Antonio and John Stockton spent 19 with Utah.

The 42-year-old Haslem is by far the longest-tenured participant in Heat historical past. He is a three-time NBA champion with Miami and is the franchise’s all-time chief in rebounds. This contract is the eleventh he has signed with the Heat, and this marks the seventh consecutive summer season during which he has signed a deal with the workforce.

His father, Johnnie Haslem, died Aug. 30, 2021. Udonis Haslem spent about two weeks away from the Heat initially of camp and the preseason final year whereas grieving, and he stated not having both of his mother and father nonetheless alive pressured him to reevaluate many issues previously year.

“Even at 42, you look around and you don’t have both of your parents, you can be confused,” Haslem stated. “It can be confusing. … But never have I been more clear than I am now. I just had to clear the cobwebs out.”

Haslem was the oldest participant to seem in every of the final two NBA seasons. He obtained into 13 video games with Miami final season, averaging 2.5 factors and 1.9 rebounds.

He has had 162 completely different teammates throughout his Heat career. And this season the NBA would possibly embody gamers who weren’t even born when Haslem entered the league. Haslem made his NBA debut on Oct. 28, 2003 — three weeks earlier than Jalen Duren, the No. 13 choose on this year’s NBA draft, was born.

Haslem has averaged 7.5 factors and 6.6 rebounds in his first 19 seasons, enjoying sparingly the final six years. But the Heat have insisted his function stays very important in observe and within the locker room, yearly discovering methods to maintain luring Haslem back.

This contract will take Haslem previous the $70 million mark in on-court earnings. After the coming season, Haslem stated he hopes to hitch the Heat’s entrance office and has talked about his need to presumably be part of the possession group within the years to come back.

“This ain’t no (expletive) charity case. This is a sacrifice, sacrificing for the next generation,” Haslem stated. “As the bearer of Heat culture, I take it serious. It’s not a game. It’s not a joke. I know people talk about it. People, they may have this stigma of what it is and what it’s not. But it’s real. It is real. The culture is real. The culture has saved very many guys, not just me.”

Back to top button