Udonis Haslem on why he looked to f–k up Dwight Howard: ‘Every time I played that motherf—-r, it was on’

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Former Miami Heat big man Udonis Haslem opened up on why he tried to f— up Dwight Howard every time he faced off against the eight-time All-Star.

“Man, a lot of people don’t know this, you know what I’m saying?” Haslem said. “The first incident that I had with Dwight was he elbowed me in the ear and bust my eardrum. I had a perforated eardrum. And from that point on, every time I played that motherf—–, it was on. It was on — somebody was going to get f—– up, either me or you.”

In his prime when he was a member of the Orlando Magic, Howard was arguably the best big man in the NBA. During a three-season stretch from the 2008-09 season through the 2010-11 season, he averaged 20.5 points, 13.7 rebounds, 1.1 steals and 2.7 blocks per game across 239 regular-season appearances with the Magic.

Howard earned three Defensive Player of the Year awards and led the entire league in blocks twice during that three-season span.  For as great as Howard was on both ends of the floor, he was particularly dominant on the defensive side of the ball.

The big man wasn’t able to lead the Magic to a title during his time with the team, but he came close during the 2009 playoffs. After beating the Philadelphia 76ers, Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers in the first three rounds of the playoffs, Orlando reached the 2009 NBA Finals, where it lost to Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in five games.

Howard averaged 15.4 points, 15.2 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game while shooting 48.8 percent from the field and 60.3 percent from the free-throw line during the championship series.

The 38-year-old hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2021-22 season, when he averaged 6.2 points, 5.9 rebounds and 0.6 blocks per game in 60 games played and 27 starts with the Lakers.

Howard has attempted to make an NBA comeback, however. He worked out with the Golden State Warriors ahead of the start of the 2023-24 regular season, but the team opted not to sign him.

Haslem, meanwhile, retired from the NBA following the 2022-23 season after spending all 20 seasons of his pro career playing for the Heat franchise. In his final season in the pros, he was able to witness Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo and the Heat make a historic run to the NBA Finals as the No. 8 seed in the Eastern Conference.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.