Udonis Haslem has played for the Miami Heat since 2003, making him the second-longest-tenured player in the league to only play for one team. Only Dirk Nowitzki, who was drafted by Dallas in 1998, has spent more time with the same franchise.
Haslem has seen and done a lot during his tenure with the Heat. He’s played with Dwyane Wade, Shaquille O’Neal, LeBron James, and won three championships. Now 37, Haslem has transitioned to a reserve role with Miami (6-7).
“I think about my role with the Heat right now. Having all the success that I’ve had on the basketball court, right now my career has taken a turn where it’s all about others,” Haslem said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “It’s all about providing that experience to these guys. It’s all about teaching these guys what it takes to be a champion. It’s all about teaching these guys what it takes to be a professional. As I approach my career and where it’s going on now, it’s all about doing good and giving back and providing for this next generation and these millennials. These guys work so hard, and I want to see these guys have the opportunity to raise that trophy as well.”
Haslem, a Miami native, also weighed in on the Hurricanes’ 41-8 win over No. 3 Notre Dame on Saturday. Haslem was thrilled.
“I tried to explain to people not from Miami how personal that rivalry is and has become to people that are from Miami, but they never really quite understand,” he said. “It definitely felt like being a kid again, going to the Orange Bowl games with my dad, and how exciting it is, how much emotion is in the stadium. I go back to being a high school kid selling sodas and working the stands to raise money for my high school basketball team. I have so many amazing memories with the Orange Bowl and with the Hurricanes as a kid. All that definitely came back to me, watching those games. The energy and definitely I think the swag and everything about The U is back right now.”
The Hurricanes have forced four turnovers in each of their last two games, as defensive players celebrate by wearing a gold chain after snagging a pick or recovering a fumble.
DA wondered if the Heat would ever institute a turnover chain of their own.
“It’s coming along. It’s coming along well,” Haslem said. “We’re working on it. One of our assisant coaches, Chris Quinn, is a Notre Dame guy. You guys stick around and wait for it. You’ll see.”