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Miami Heat Rumors: Udonis Haslem Could Return for 2020-21 NBA Season
- Updated: May 5, 2020
However, Haslem may be having different ideas now that the entire 2019-20 campaign has been forced off of its rails due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Joining former Heat teammate Caron Butler on NBA TV’s Game Time, Haslem said he might not be the retiring type in the wake of how this season has played out,” Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel wrote.
“With the NBA shut down since March 11 due to the new coronavirus pandemic, and with no certainty of play being resumed, Haslem, 39, said he again finds himself at a crossroads amid this 17th NBA season — all with the Heat — being interrupted.”
Haslem admitted that he has been thinking about his career, and how it might end if he calls it quits this summer.
“I mean,” he said, “it has been a great run, man. It’s been something that I’ve been thinking about.”
He also offered his opinion on the matter quite clearly.
“From everybody that I’ve talked to and from everything that I’ve done and sacrificed, one thing that I’ve always wanted is to be able to do is leave this game on my own terms,” Haslem said. “Another thing that I’ve always wanted is to be able to have the opportunity to create a pathway for the next generation, as far as passing on the Heat culture. And the third thing that I wanted to do was to be able to leave this game with an opportunity to make a good playoff run.
“All three of those things have been taken out of my control right now. So we’ll just have to see.”
Haslem’s role on the Heat is something similar to that of a player-coach. While he is undoubtedly a valued member of the team, he has played in just three total games this season.
Instead, his focus seems to be on maintaining team culture and helping the younger generation of Heat stars reach their full potential.
If Haslem does end up hanging it up this offseason, it likely won’t be long until he’s back with the franchise working in another role.