How Udonis Haslem and Dwyane Wade Once Angered Each Other Because of Jeremy Lin

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Miami Heat veterans Udonis Haslem and Dwyane Wade have developed a strong bond over the past 15 years, but there have been times when conflict has arisen. One such instance came when Wade made a simple in-game gesture to an opponent.

Shandel Richardson of The Athletic explored the relationship between Haslem and Wade that began in 2003, when both were rookies for the Heat. Despite Haslem being an undrafted free agent and Wade being the fifth overall pick in the NBA draft, the duo has practically evolved into brothers. That’s meant that the two were sometimes at odds.

That aforementioned gesture by Wade came about in this fashion:

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“A few years ago, Wade simply tried to return Jeremy Lin’s shoe after he lost it during a game. Haslem felt it was necessary to interrupt the nice gesture by slapping it so hard from Wade’s hand they began arguing on the court.

“Haslem took Wade’s kindness as a sign of weakness.

“’He got real mad at me,’” Haslem said. “’So, yeah, we’ve gotten into it a lot. … People think that it’s always just fun. Me and Dwyane had uncomfortable conversations all the time. We’ve gotten into it during games and timeouts.’”

In recounting the story, Wade noted that the immediate emotions expressed don’t factor in the reality of having such a long-term connection.

“It was just more so in the moment,” Wade said. “I’m just trying to be nice and he slapped (the shoe) out of my hand. I’m like, ‘What the F?’ You can’t be teammates this long and you don’t get angry at each other. You go back and forth. We’ve had moments where people had to separate us. It’s a real relationship if you know that you can still be real with each other after.”

Both Haslem and Wade have been a part of all three of the Heat’s NBA titles, with the only stretch where they weren’t teammates coming within a two-year span. That was when Wade left the Heat in free agency in the summer of 2016 before being dealt back last February.

Wade has already announced that this will be his final NBA season, while Haslem hasn’t indicated his future plans. Wade figures to hear huge cheers in opposing cities, while Haslem’s brief periods on the court won’t garner much attention. Yet in the latter case, the close friendship between these two Heat lifers will simply mean that Haslem will be happy to join in on the cheering.
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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.