However, with that announcement also came the news that Haslem’s 20th season will also be his last as a player in the NBA.
“Got one more in me for Pop. Got one more in me for the city. Got one more in me for the team.” – a teary Udonis Haslem, who just announced he’s coming back.
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) August 21, 2022
Now, as the team is gearing up for its start to the 2022-23 regular season in just under a month, Haslem has once again stated that the upcoming campaign will be his last in the league.
Udonis Haslem addresses what he says is the beginning of his “The Last Ride.“ pic.twitter.com/qA7OxZSeyC
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) September 27, 2022
This is not breaking news by any stretch, but it is worth noting that Haslem feels the need to reiterate that this season will be his last. Perhaps he is doing it to not only remind members of the media and his teammates, but also himself.
Of course, the dream scenario for Haslem and the entire Heat family would be to send the veteran off into the sunset with the fourth and final championship of his playing career. The Heat are going to have to exceed their success from last season in order to do that.
Thanks to players like Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, Kyle Lowry and Tyler Herro, the Heat are absolutely expected to make it to the playoffs this season. However, many don’t expect them to seriously contend for a title.
Still, it seems like many believed the Heat weren’t title contenders last season, and Miami ended up being just one Game 7 victory away from its second NBA Finals appearance in three years.
So, while the Heat competing for an NBA title in the spring of 2023 may not seem all that likely, it is also definitely not impossible.
As Haslem is a highly respected player across the league, it would not be surprising to see many opposing players pay their respects to Haslem throughout the season. While this farewell tour is not likely to be on par with the one Haslem’s former teammate Dwyane Wade had, there will surely be a lot of celebration.
Haslem first joined the Heat in 2003. He’s a three-time NBA champ and played in 872 regular season games thus far.