Report: Miami Heat plan to retire Udonis Haslem’s number

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Miami Heat veteran Udonis Haslem is set to conclude his NBA career after this season and at some point in the future will have his No. 40 retired by the team.

In making the announcement, team president Pat Riley extolled Haslem’s long connection with the team in a statement issued by the Heat.

“From the first day that I saw him compete, to the last day when we retire his jersey at our FTX home, UD will go down in our team’s history as one of the best to ever play for the Miami Heat,” team president Pat Riley said in a statement announcing Haslem re-signing with the team.

Haslem is a native of Miami and his bond with the local community predates his arrival as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Florida in 2003. Joining him in that camp was the team’s top pick, Dwayne Wade, who developed into the face of the franchise.

Haslem had gained some international experience by playing in France before returning home to begin his long run with the Heat.

During the first season with the Heat, Haslem was used off the bench in many of the contests and delivered modest numbers of 7.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game.

Haslem then became a fixture in the Heat starting lineup over the next five seasons. During the 2007-08 season, he sustained a nagging ankle injury that limited him to 49 regular season games.

In the midst of that run, Haslem, Wade and the Heat managed to capture the 2006 NBA title, the first of three NBA championships during his tenure.

Even before the arrival of LeBron James and Chris Bosh as free agents in 2010, Haslem had returned to being more of a player off the bench. During that brief four-year era of the “Heatles,” the Heat reached the finals each season and captured two consecutive titles in 2012 and 2013.

In recent years, Haslem’s time on the court has dwindled to a minuscule amount. Evidence of that can be seen by the fact that only during the 2019-20 campaign has he averaged over 10 minutes of action per game.

However, the regard with which Haslem is held among his teammates is a testament as to why he remains on the team at the age of 42. His ability to serve as a mentor to younger players, along with his willingness to step on toes when necessary shows his continuing passion for the franchise.

Given that the Heat will be retiring Haslem’s number, it seems almost certain that they’ll also recognize the Heat icon with a special night toward the end of this year’s regular season.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, 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.