Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem has said in an interview with Basketball Insiders that he plans to retire following the conclusion of the 2018-19 NBA season.
“I’m gonna call it done too. There’s nothing else left for me to do on the basketball court,” Haslem told Basketball Insiders. “My kids are getting older, my son is playing college football at the University of Toledo, my 11-year-old is playing travel baseball and I never see him as he’s always out of town. My eight year old is playing travel basketball. There’s so many other things for me to be engaged in right now.”
This season is Haslem’s 16th in the NBA. Haslem, who has spent his entire career with Miami, first signed with the Heat in 2003, having spent one season playing in France after going undrafted in the 2002 NBA Draft.
In his first seven seasons in the league, the 38-year-old averaged 10.0 points and 8.1 rebounds in per game, proving that he truly did belong in the NBA. After suffering a torn ligament in his left foot during the 2010-11 season, which was the first of the Heat’s “Big 3” era, he began to play less and less each season. However, he has continued to be a positive locker room presence for the team.
Haslem also mentioned how he wants to be remembered.
“Just a leader, a leader, and a winner. I’m a guy that did whatever it takes to get the job done, I told Dwyane [Wade] that the other day. My motivation whenever I stepped on the floor was to just be a guy that everyone can depend on,” Haslem said. “Playing with LeBron [James] and playing with Chris Bosh, playing with Dwyane, Ray Allen, these superstar kind of guys, I wanted to be a guy that they knew they could depend on every night. Whatever was needed to bring to the table, I was going to bring that.”
The Heat’s franchise leader in total rebounds (5,716), offensive rebounds (1,604) and defensive rebounds (4,112), Haslem has won three NBA championships throughout his career and was named to the All-Rookie Second Team for the 2003-04 season.
For his career, the University of Florida product has averaged 7.7 points and 6.7 rebounds in 25.3 minutes per game.
A symbol of what being a Heat player means, Haslem will undoubtedly be honored in a special way by the team towards the end of the season.