“That’s why I came back for 20th season” Udonis Haslem speaks out on Heat Culture which did not let him retire
Udonis Haslem is really a captain for the young squad of Miami Heat. As he has seen it all since 2002, when he went undrafted. But not giving up on his dream of making it to the league, he took his talent to the international platform, and when back he had a deal on the table from his hometown team Miami Heat (signed with the team on August 6, 2003). Udonis Haslem has played nineteen seasons for Miami Heat and was always a strong role player who knew what is to be done for the best results favoring the team. Many thought he was done and will wrap it up by retiring as the last seasons have been very limited for him. But recently he made it to the headlines and shocked the whole NBA world as he plans to return to Miami for his straight 20th season in the league.
There aren’t many players who are capable of playing 20 long seasons in NBA but Udonis Haslem is surely on the list. Adding to it, he has also entered into the elite club of legends like Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki who spent their 20 and more seasons with the same team. It’s not really possible these days to be loyal to a franchise and get the same quality treatment back as it’s just winning championships and having the best possible deal which matters to everyone around. But Udonis Haslem, Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki are really special as they have pulled it off and now have a legacy behind them. Our shark isn’t one of the all-time greats but has rings registered under his name too.
The reason for Udonis Haslem to be back for the 20th season is a special one. As recently he made a decision for coming back and even mentioned the reason. His reason for returning for one final time was the culture the Heat has built and he’ll love to be part of that culture which has saved people.
Udonis Haslem on the reason for returning back again
Udonis Haslem resonating his return quoted: “This ain’t no damn charity case. This is a sacrifice. I’m sacrificing for the next generation. You know, 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 on 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. When you look at these undrafted guys, these guys who were on their way out of the league and people didn’t believe in them and people didn’t give them an opportunity, the culture saved them. That’s why I come back. Because I’ve watched the culture save so many like it saved me. That’s what it is, for the people that don’t get it and don’t understand. Because people can’t get outside of themselves. Culture has saved me, and I want to continue to be part of the culture of saving people that come after me.”
Udonis Haslem is 42 years old, so expecting him to dunk and run with the young talent isn’t fair and senseless. But he’ll surely be playing his player-coach role and motivating the team from the bench and sidelines just like he did last season.