Miami Heat legend Udonis Haslem is currently in his 19th season at the NBA level, but it sounds like he doesn’t want to stop there.
The 41-year-old recently spoke about the idea of reaching 20 NBA seasons.
“That’s a goal,” Haslem said to the Miami Herald regarding the possibility.
The veteran offered some insight into why it would be an important milestone to him. Haslem’s father passed away in August, which the three-time champion called “probably the toughest time I’ve ever had to encounter.” Haslem’s father wanted him to reach 20 seasons.
“I think for me, it’s an accomplishment to be in that class of people,” Haslem said about the idea of reaching the goal. “Obviously, so many selfless years. I think that’s something I can give to myself. To say that a kid who nobody really gave a chance to, to do 20 years in this organization at this level and break records and win championships. I think for me, that would be a gift to myself. That was something that my father wanted. So I think it’s something that I still have the ability to accomplish. That’s something that we’re looking forward to.”
Haslem explained that the goal of reaching 20 seasons occurred to him in recent months.
“It’s something that just came about over the last couple months, including this summer,” Haslem said. “Those conversations that I had with my father and just people close to me. I think it was something that he wanted and that we wanted, and we always talked about how we would walk away and just the way we would do it because so many people sacrificed.
“You see me show up to the games for 19 years, but you forget about the people that sacrificed their time for me to be away like my family, my support system and different people like that,” Haslem said. “So the goal was for those people to be able to enjoy those things, as well. I think 20 years would be an an amazing accomplishment for all of us to celebrate together.”
Reaching 20 seasons would clearly be a meaningful accomplishment for Haslem.
Although he rarely sees game action these days, he’s still a valuable part of this Heat team. He adds a lot of value on the sideline with his veteran presence.
Haslem has three NBA titles under his belt, but given the way Miami is playing in the early stages of the 2021-22 season, there might be another ring in the big man’s future.