Udonis Haslem says he passed up on $70M throughout his career to stay with Miami Heat

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Miami Heat veteran big man Udonis Haslem revealed that he passed up on $70 million to remain with the Heat.

Haslem, who wants to be a part of Miami’s ownership group at some point down the line, explained why he passed up the money to remain in Miami in a recent interview.

“Udonis Haslem indicated last November on Duncan Robinson’s podcast that he hopes to be part of the Heat ownership group one day,” the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson wrote. “He reiterated that in an interview with CBS-4’s Jim Berry, a conversation that aired Sunday night.

“Haslem, 41, said: ‘I passed up $70 million in my career to stay here and play. This is always the place I wanted to win. This is always the place I wanted to retire. This is always the place I felt I could make the biggest impact. I knew what my value was. I knew what my super power was….’

“‘You don’t give up $40, $50, $60 million dollars temporarily because it [isn’t] temporarily coming back. So everything I’ve done is to be part of this organization for the rest of my life.’”

Haslem has been with the Heat since the 2003-04 season and has won three NBA titles with the team. While he is well past his prime, Haslem is an important vocal leader in the locker room for the Heat and has been for several years now.

This season, Haslem has appeared in 10 games for Miami, and he is averaging 2.8 points, 1.8 rebounds and 0.3 assists per game while shooting 52.2 percent from the field and 50.0 percent from beyond the arc.

It seems that Haslem has a roster spot in Miami for as long as he wants it, as the veteran forward has only played in 55 games over the last six seasons.

Still, he is an invaluable player in the locker room, and he knows what it takes to win an NBA title. Haslem was a key cog in the Miami rotation during the team’s three title runs in his career.

For his career, Haslem averages 7.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 0.8 assists per game while shooting 49.0 percent from the field.

Heat fans certainly would love to see Haslem rise up into the ownership group of the team, as he has been a lasting voice for the team and the city during his playing career.

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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.