Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem will almost surely retire when the season ends. The 16-year veteran revealed in a recent interview that he plans to hang up his sneakers at the end of the year.
Yet, despite that, Haslem left the door open for a return, listing his chances of retirement at only 90 percent.
That got the attention of Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra, who had a great response to the possibility of Haslem sticking around for the 2019-20 season.
Spoelstra on Udonis Haslem saying he's 90 percent sure he's going to retire: "So you're saying there's a chance?"
— Anthony Chiang (@Anthony_Chiang) January 8, 2019
You can never say never, but it seems highly unlikely that Haslem would return next year. Still, Spoelstra’s comments show why Miami’s coach is so popular with his players.
Haslem has spent his entire career with the Heat, where he has averaged 7.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game, while winning three championships.
With his career nearing an end, Haslem has seen his role on the court reduced this year. He’s appeared in only three games, and has played just 14 minutes. Yet despite that, he remains a strong veteran presence in the locker room, and is very well respected by both his teammates and the team’s coaching staff.