Udonis Haslem signed another one-year contract to remain with the Miami Heat for another season, which will be his 19th with the team since joining as an undrafted free agent in 2003.
Haslem, 41, grew up in Miami and plays for the hometown Heat. He’s the only player on the current roster who appeared on all three championship teams with the Heat.
“Udonis Haslem has agreed to come back and play the game he loves so much,” said Miami Heat president Pat Riley. “What he loves more than that is to be on the court teaching and competing against the world’s best. UD is a legacy player. ONE PLAYER, ONE CITY, ONE TEAM. Thank you, UD, for coming back to lead again in your city, your organization and your team.”
The little-used power forward appeared in one game last season and just five games in the last two seasons. Haslem embraced his role as the Heat’s last man off the bench, but he’s a pivotal practice player and a voice of reason in the locker room. While in the twilight of his career, the outspoken Haslem has become more like a player-coach and confidant to head coach Erik Spoelstra. Haslem takes younger players and rookies under his wing and teaches them how to be a professional on and off the court.
The Miami Heat are +2800 odds to win the 2022 NBA championship, according to the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas.
Hometown hero Haslem
Haslem played four seasons of collegiate ball under Billy Donovan with the Florida Gators in the late 1990s. He was considered undersized for a power forward and didn’t get drafted in the 2002 NBA Draft. He spent a season in Europe with Chalon-sur-Saone in France before he returned to America and latched on with the Miami Heat.
In the 2003-04 season, Haslem was a key player off the bench in his rookie season, but he also started in 24 games. He earned All-Rookie honors.
For the next five seasons, Haslem won the starting job. He played on the 2006 Heat team that won an NBA Championship. As a starter with the Heat, you could rely on Haslem playing hard-nosed defense while contributing 11 points and eight or nine rebounds per game.
|NBA Players with Longest Tenure on the Same Team|
|Dirk Nowitzski||Dallas Mavericks||21|
|Kobe Bryant||LA Lakers||20|
|Tim Duncan||San Antonio Spurs||19|
|John Stockton||Utah Jazz||19|
During the LeBron James years in South Beach, Haslem became a role player. He started 30 playoff games for the Heat during their championship runs in 2012 and 2013.
Last season, Haslem became the 11th oldest player to appear in an NBA game. If he plays at all this upcoming season, he could become the 8th oldest.
Haslem becomes only the fifth player in NBA history to suit up for the same team in 19-consecutive seasons. He joins Tim Duncan (San Antonio Spurs), John Stockton (Utah Jazz), Kobe Bryant (Los Angeles Lakers), and Dirk Nowitzki (Dallas Mavericks). Nowitzki holds the record with 21 seasons with the Mavs, while Kobe logged 20 seasons with the Lakers. Stockton and Duncan each played 19 seasons with their original teams.