Udonis Haslem is back for his twentieth NBA season with the Miami Heat. The leader of Heat culture is back to help lead the Heat. Haslem wants to make it very clear that his return is not a charity case, and he still has a lot to add to this Heat squad as the “bearer of Heat culture.” Haslem also heralded his decision to return as a “sacrifice” and credited Culture as something that has saved players.
“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.” Haslem shared in his statement after re-signing with Miami.”
Haslem on Next in Line for Bearer of Heat Culture
Haslem in a conversation with ESPN’s Isreal Gutierrez reiterated his role as a leader for the Heat despite his diminished playing time. He also added who he thinks is next in line to take that role as the leader in South Beach to carry on Heat Culture.
“I want to pass the torch to Bam [Adebayo] as the next bearer of the culture,” Haslem says. “I want to continue to mold and help Jimmy be the champion that he deserves to be. And I just want to leave this locker room headed in the right direction.”
People have asked Haslem why he doesn’t go into coaching, and much of his decision to stay is about being an example for players and out battling with them. It’s his example he hopes is carried on for other players that approach the league.
“I want kids somewhere to say, ‘I want to have a career like Udonis Haslem — undrafted, worked for everything I got, won three championships, retired and went into ownership with the same organization I played with for 20 years.'”
Bam Adebayo Wants to be a Heat Lifer
Adebayo, found himself in trade rumors for the majority of the summer. However, he made it clear that if given the opportunity, he would love to be a member of the Heat organization for his entire career in a conversation with Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald.
“If I could, I would [stay his entire career in Miami]. Just to have that opportunity to be around this community for my whole career. A lot of the community has seen my grown up. Going from a random 14th draft pick to being a cornerstone in this organization and to become something bigger. It’s just one of those things that’s dope when people grow with you.”
Adebayo has been given the challenge to be more aggressive offensively this season as a leader of the Heat. If Haslem is able to give the Heat more help offensively, he will emerge above an All-Star to one of the best players in the NBA and a prime candidate to carry the torch of Heat culture.