Many people around the league regard him as a pillar of the culture the Heat famously established and have maintained. It seems the organization also sees it that way, and as such, it reportedly decided to honor the big man by designing a wall at the entryway of the team’s locker room to feature him.
Upon realizing that pictures of him are now on the wall, Haslem became introspective and reminisced on being a “pretty decent player at one point.”
“Instantly, when I looked at it, I didn’t notice what I was looking at. Then I was like, ‘Oh, wow. All of these are pictures of me,’” Haslem said. “Then you start taking those walks down memory lane and remembering those moments. I was thinking I was a pretty decent player at one point, I was pretty good.”
These days, the 42-year-old doesn’t see much action on the court, having played a total of 10 minutes in two games this season. Funnily enough, he has already played more than he did in the 2020-21 campaign, when he suited up for just one contest and had a three-minute run near the end of that season.
However, there was a time when the Florida native was a fixture on the court for the Heat. He was even a full-time starter during a five-season stretch early in his career. During that span, he averaged 10.6 points and 8.4 rebounds per game, and it was common for him to register double-doubles.
For his career, Haslem has averages of 7.5 points and 6.6 rebounds per contest. While his numbers do not stand out, his contributions to the franchise go beyond his statistical production.
He played key roles in the Heat’s three title runs, especially as a leader in the locker room.
As his playing career draws to a close, Haslem is set to become just the third player in league history to spend an entire NBA career of at least 20 seasons with one franchise. The other two players are Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki. What makes Haslem different from the two superstars is that he’s going to achieve the feat for his hometown team.
Fans would certainly love to see the three-time champion stay with the organization in some capacity after his playing career ends. Time will tell if that’s in the cards.