Udonis Haslem Tells Haters to ‘Not Tell Me What to Do’ Amidst Retirement Decision

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Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem has yet to announce whether or not he’ll return for what would be his 17th season with the team.

While he takes his time to ponder the prospect of retirement, he took to social media to ask that his fans and critics alike allow him to make the decision on his own. He also passionately spoke about overcoming obstacles throughout his life and basketball career.

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The Heat organization would like to see the popular veteran suit up for another year, but is not pressuring Haslem in any way. In recent years, his contributions have largely been as more of a clubhouse presence and role model for younger teammates, rather than an on-court presence.

Haslem turned 39 years old earlier this month and holds a special place in the hearts of Heat fans, primarily because he’s a Miami native.

Signing with the Heat in 2003 as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Florida, he crafted a career with modest statistical averages of 7.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game. Along the way, he’s been a part of all three of the Heat’s NBA titles.

Having watched former teammate Dwyane Wade go out with a great deal of fanfare this past season, Haslem has indicated that if he does return, he’d like to have a similar sendoff.

While other teams may not be quite as enthusiastic about that prospect as they were about Wade’s farewell tour, the Heat will certainly take the time to hold a night in Haslem’s honor. The only question now is whether it comes following another season of play for the veteran.
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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for HeatNation.com, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.