In a move that just about every Miami Heat fan saw coming, Udonis Haslem is rejoining the franchise after retiring from the NBA earlier this year.
His official title will be vice president of basketball development. In his role, he will help mentor Heat players as well as Sioux Falls Skyforce players. The Skyforce are the Heat’s G League affiliate.
The three-time champion will also represent the Heat organization in the community and in business endeavors.
Haslem spent his entire 20-year career with the Heat after going undrafted in the 2002 NBA Draft and spending one season overseas in France.
Despite only playing a total of 65 regular season games since the start of the 2016-17 season, Haslem remained a key part of the roster up until he officially retired. As the Heat’s captain and one of their veteran leaders, he played a big role in motivating the team night in and night out.
Plenty of fans had been wondering what type of role Haslem would take on with the team in his post-playing career. He’s previously expressed interest in becoming part of the Heat’s ownership group. The 43-year-old wants his pursuit to end differently from that of Dwyane Wade, who joined the Utah Jazz ownership group in 2021.
Ahead of the Heat’s regular season opener against the Detroit Pistons on Oct. 25, Haslem was seen practicing with the team multiple times, though he previously mentioned not wanting to become a coach.
Haslem is the latest former Heat player to join the Heat in a non-playing role. Others include Alonzo Mourning, Wayne Ellington, Caron Butler, Malik Allen and Chris Quinn.
Ellington, Butler, Allen and Quinn are all currently coaches on Erik Spoelstra’s staff.
The Heat are on a two-game winning streak after beating the Los Angeles Lakers at home on Monday night. Haslem was surely happy to see his former teammates take home a victory.