Why is Udonis Haslem still on the Heat? Veteran CREATES HISTORY during Game 3 of the 2023 NBA Finals
Udonis Haslem entered the court during the dying seconds of Game 3 of the NBA Finals.
Image Credits: Twitter
Udonis Haslem created history as he became the oldest player to take the court in an NBA Finals game. The 42-year-old came in for the Miami Heat during the dying seconds of Game 3. He was only able to partake in one possession as the Denver Nuggets handed the team from South Beach a 109-94 loss at home. Haslem broke the previous record held by LA Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who was 42 years and 58 days during his last NBA Finals appearance.
If the Heat wins the championship, Udonis Haslem won’t be the oldest NBA player to win it. That record is held by Robert Parish, who was 43 years and 287 days when he won a ring with the Chicago Bulls. Haslem has not been playing in the lineup of the Heat for several years now, but he remains to be a vital component of the Heat culture.
His toughness and ability to mentor youngsters is what has helped the Miami Heat succeed over the years. Many have raised questions over his presence on the roster, but the franchise has been clear about its stance and has always backed him. However, after giving his 20 years to the Heat, Udonis Haslem finally announced that he was retiring at the end of the 2022-23 season. In his final regular season game, the veteran racked up 24 points and made some tough shots to bring the fans out of their seats.
How good was Udonis Haslem during his active playing days?
Udonis Haslem has been a key part of the Miami Heat team for a long time. His first championship with the franchise in 2006, was a run led by Dwyane Wade. Haslem was also a key member of the team that had the Big 3. His ability to defend opponents and crash boards made him a valuable asset to the Heat. Although players like LeBron James and Chris Bosh were present on the roster, Haslem was a vocal leader as he knew all about the Heat culture alongside D-Wade.
Although Udonis Haslem has not featured regularly in the Heat lineup, the franchise decided to keep him through the years because of his experience. He has not made a lot of appearances, but whenever Udonis Haslem took to the court, he made his presence felt. The Heat are currently 2-1 down in the NBA Finals, but they will be looking to fight back and win the trophy, as only that would be the perfect farewell gift to Heat legend Udonis Haslem.
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