It seems Udonis Haslem continues to be a busy man even after retiring from playing for the Miami Heat. He recently threw the first pitch at a Miami Marlins game, drawing a hilarious reaction from Bam Adebayo.
— Jordan McPherson (@J_McPherson1126) September 7, 2023
Miami’s hometown hero remains a beloved figure in South Florida, as evidenced by the Marlins honoring the Florida native during a recent game against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Adebayo still seems to think fondly of his former veteran teammate and likely always will.
It’s unclear, however, if Adebayo could really hit a home run off Haslem. After all, it’s unknown how much baseball the three-time NBA champion has played in his life. He has been involved in basketball presumably since his childhood years, finding inspiration from his father, who was once a high school basketball standout for Miami Northwestern Senior High School.
Haslem achieved his dream of playing in the NBA, although he almost didn’t make it to the league after going undrafted in 2002. He suited up for one season in a French professional basketball league before signing with the Heat in 2003.
The retired big man had an unsteady debut in his first NBA game, as he had more fouls than points. But on a positive note, he did have eight rebounds and was in the starting lineup.
Even though he did lose his spot as a starter in his rookie campaign, Haslem ended up playing in the 2004 Rookie Challenge alongside the likes of LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade.
Haslem finished his rookie season with averages of 7.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. The following year saw him reclaim his place in the starting lineup and provide the squad with rebounding, defense and toughness.
He eventually helped the Heat secure three championships. A fourth ring proved to be elusive for Haslem as Miami failed to capitalize on its NBA Finals runs in 2020 and 2023.
The organization will surely miss having Haslem on the bench starting this season. Hopefully, Adebayo and company can continue contending for championships in the years to come. With the two-time All-Star and Jimmy Butler leading the way, the Heat appear to be in good hands.