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Bam Adebayo discloses how Udonis Haslem forced him to speak up in huddle so he could learn to lead Miami Heat
- Updated: April 16, 2021
Haslem’s advice to Adebayo has given him and Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra a mutual trust. However, it wasn’t easy at first, Adebayo revealed on “The Long Shot” podcast.
“Hell no, I was not ready for this,” Adebayo said when teammate Duncan Robinson asked him what made him become the vocal leader for Miami. “Because when I was younger, I was always one of those kids that was like, ‘Alright I’m just going to lead by example.’ I don’t have to speak.
“And then it got to the point where I was like, ‘Alright if I speak, what the hell I’m gonna say? Who’s going to listen to me?’
“When U.D. (Haslem) tried to put me in this role last year, I was like, ‘U.D. what do you want me to say?’ I got Jimmy [Butler] who’s a five-time All-Star. I got Goran [Dragic] who was just an All-Star the year before that. I had Iggy (Andre Iguodala) at the time. You were three years older than me. I was like what am I gonna say where they’re going to be like, ‘I’m going to listen to this kid.’
“And I would look at U.D., and he would be like, ‘Just say what you got to say.’ I was like, ‘Bro, what does that mean?’ So that’s when U.D. started making me do like the cadence when we break and it was just to try and get my leadership role going.
“I was like, ‘So I’m supposed to switch up the cadence every now and again? How do I do this?’ And he was like, ‘Bro, just calm down.’
“And now, I’ve gotten to the point where me and Spo trust each other enough that if I speak, it’s going to be some good s—.”
Adebayo has certainly become a leader for Miami in all aspects, as he is averaging 19.0 points, 9.3 rebounds and 5.3 assists per game this season.
While he didn’t make the All-Star team this season after making it during the 2019-20 campaign, Adebayo is still averaging career-highs in points and assists this season.
The Heat are currently the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference and will need to lean on Adebayo even more if they want to make it back to the NBA Finals this season.