• Thu. Dec 8th, 2022

Report: Miami Heat plans to retire Udonis Haslem’s number

ByDebra J. Aguilar

Aug 23, 2022

Miami Heat veteran Udonis Haslem is expected to conclude his NBA career after this season, and at some point in the future his No. 40 will be retired by the team.

In making the announcement, Team President Pat Riley vaunted Haslem’s long connection to the team in a statement released by the Heat.

“From the first day I saw him compete until the last day we retired his jersey at our FTX home, UD will go down in our team history as one of the best to ever play for the Miami. Heat,” said team president Pat. Riley said in a statement announcing Haslem’s new signing with the team.

Haslem is a Miami native and his connection to the local community predates his arrival as an undrafted free agent from the University of Florida in 2003. Joining him in that camp was team first draft pick Dwayne Wade. , which has grown in the face of the franchise.

Haslem had gained some international experience playing in France before returning home to begin his long career with the Heat.

During his first season with the Heat, Haslem was used off the bench in numerous contests and delivered a modest 7.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

Haslem then became a fixture in the Heat’s starting lineup over the next five seasons. During the 2007-08 season, he suffered a nagging ankle injury that limited him to 49 regular season games.

Midway through this run, Haslem, Wade and the Heat managed to win the 2006 NBA title, the first of three NBA championships during his tenure.

Even before LeBron James and Chris Bosh arrived as free agents in 2010, Haslem was back to being an off-the-bench player. During that brief four-year stint of the “Heatles,” the Heat reached the Finals every season and won back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013.

In recent years, Haslem’s time on the pitch has been reduced to a miniscule amount. The proof is that it was only during the 2019-20 campaign that he averaged more than 10 minutes of action per game.

However, the respect with which Haslem is held among his teammates speaks to why he remains in the team at the age of 42. His ability to mentor young players, as well as his willingness to step on toes if necessary. shows his continued passion for the franchise.

Given that the Heat will be retiring Haslem’s number, it seems almost certain that they will also recognize the Heat icon with a special night towards the end of this year’s regular season.