Udonis Haslem ‘molding’ Bam Adebayo to take over as Miami Heat’s leader

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Miami Heat veteran Udonis Haslem revealed that he is trying to mold Bam Adebayo to take over as the leader of the franchise.

Adebayo is coming off an All-Star campaign last season, and he signed a massive contract extension to remain in Miami.

Haslem, 40, is about to enter his 18th season in Miami and has been the leader of the locker room for years.

But now, he is looking for a successor.

“That’s what I’ve been molding Bam for, to be that leader,” Haslem said. “Not just to take his game to the next level, but to take his teammates to the next level.

“He spent the whole summer with me. He spent the whole summer with me working out, he spent the whole summer with me training, talking basketball, thinking basketball. Well, we didn’t even have a summer. It’s not even called summer anymore. But whatever that was, he spent it with me talking basketball, thinking basketball, training. The next step for Bam is to be that leader to everybody and to understand everybody.”

The Heat are looking to make it back to the NBA Finals this season and will likely lean on Adebayo to get there.

Last season, Adebayo averaged 15.9 points, 10.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game.

As he continues to grow in is game, Haslem will make sure to groom Adebayo as a leader as well.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.