Heat’s Udonis Haslem Confirms He’ll Retire ‘No Matter What Happens’ This Season
Regardless of how the Miami Heat’s season turns out, this will be Udonis Haslem’s final year in the NBA, according to a report by Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald.
“I’m done no matter what happens,” Haslem said. “… I think at this stage, there needs to be another voice for these guys.”
Haslem, 42, has been a member of the Heat since 2003, he went undrafted out of the University of Florida and has turned into one of the most iconic players in the history of the franchise.
The three-time champion announced his plans to retire following the season on Aug. 21.
Although Haslem hasn’t had a ton of playing time over the last few years, he has served as a guiding presence for the younger members of the Heat, who have made two conference finals appearances in the last three seasons.
As one of the legends of the organization, Miami plans on sending Haslem off in style with several tributes over the final few weeks of the season.
In addition to obviously getting his jersey retired next season, he will have Section 305 in Miami-Dade Arena dedicated to him on March 25, according to a report by Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
“It’s going to end up being a really cool in-arena aspect that’s going to live on forever,” Heat executive vice president Michael McCullough said. “But because he’s such a man of the people and he represents the 305, it worked out really, really well for us to be able to take that section and really create this Udonis tribute section.”
It’s the type of honor befitting Haslem. a Miami native who is the oldest active player in the NBA and who’s spent his entire 20-year career in South Beach.