Report: Miami Heat have ‘made it clear’ 41-year-old Udonis Haslem allowed to play for as long as he wants

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Miami Heat veteran Udonis Haslem will return for his 19th season with the franchise, with the Heat making clear that any future decision to retire will come from him.

Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel indicated that the Heat will make the official decision soon and have left what can often be a difficult situation completely up to Haslem.

“The Heat have made it clear that Haslem will be allowed to retire on his terms, whenever he so chooses,” Winderman wrote.

The 41-year-old Haslem has been given that freedom to call the shots, despite having barely played in recent years. His lone appearance during the 2020-21 regular season came in the home finale, where he was ejected after playing less than three minutes.

The chief reason why Haslem is being given such latitude is that the Miami native has established himself as an integral voice in the Heat locker room.

That voice resonates with Haslem’s teammates, who revere the veteran and have no problem with him taking a roster spot from a more effective on-court player.

When Haslem was producing on the court, he was part of all three Heat NBA titles. The Heat are hoping that he’s able to win another championship ring before he finally calls it quits.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.