With Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem set to retire following the conclusion of the 2018-19 NBA season, the Miami Heat will be losing their two biggest leaders on the team. Haslem believes that Justise Winslow possesses the necessary qualities to be a team leader in the future.
“I love what Justise is doing,” Haslem said. “I love the edge that he plays with. I relate to that edge. I relate to that edge of one-thing-can-get-you-thrown-out type edge that you play with, that chip on your shoulder. I relate to that. If I can pick somebody, I would love for it to be Justise.”
Winslow recently earned an elevated role on the team, being named the starting point guard by head coach Erik Spoelstra. So far this season, Winslow has been having a career year, averaging 11.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 3.9 assists per game (second on the Heat).
Haslem mentioned that once he is finished, he wants the Heat to be left in good hands and for the culture of the team to be carried on.
“Once it’s over for us, there has to be a leader, there has to be somebody that carries the culture and passes it on to the next generation,” Haslem said. “These guys are working right now. As much as me and Dwyane would like, right now there’s really nobody that’s fully grasped what we would like to pass on like guys passed it on to us. So we’re trying to fast track that. That is something for me that I take personal. When I walk away from this organization and the basketball side of things, I would like it to be in good hands, and I would like to see the culture and tradition continue to carry on the right way.”
The fourth-year Duke University product seems to be one of the best options on the team to be the next leader. Winslow has already spoken about loving the responsibility of playing such an important position like point guard, and that winning and leading the team to wins are what is really important.
Once next season comes around, it will be interesting to see if the 22-year-old does end up emerging as one of the Heat’s new leaders.