Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem says he is coming back for the 20th NBA season
Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem is returning for his 20th NBA season. The 42-year-old made the declaration Sunday at his basketball camp in Miami.
“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 said, 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.”
Haslem’s deal is for one year and worth $2.9 million; Miami broadened the offer almost two months prior, then waited for Haslem will decide between retiring and returning.
A dearest member of the Heat organization, Haslem recognized after the season he was uncertain whether he would return for one more year.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra has noted repeatedly through the years how much of an impact Haslem’s presence and leadership has on the team on a day-to-day basis.
Haslem joins legends Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks as the only NBA players to play at least 20 seasons for a single franchise, as indicated by ESPN Stats and Information research.
Haslem is a three-time NBA champion with Miami and is the franchise’s all-time leader in rebounds. This agreement is the eleventh he has signed with the Heat, and this denotes the seventh sequential summer wherein he has signed a deal with the team.
His father, Johnnie Haslem, passed on Aug. 30, 2021. Udonis Haslem spent around fourteen days from the Heat toward the beginning of camp and the preseason last year while lamenting, and he said not having both of his parents still alive constrained him to reconsider numerous things in the previous year.
“Even at 42, you look around and you don’t have both of your parents, you can be confused,” Haslem said. “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 most established player to show up in every one of the beyond two NBA seasons. He got into 13 games with Miami last season, averaging 2.5 points and 1.9 rebounds. He has averaged 7.5 points and 6.6 rebounds in his first 19 seasons, playing sparingly in the past six.