Miami Heat legend Udonis Haslem receives standing ovation after checking into final regular-season game'
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The Miami Heat’s regular-season finale versus the Orlando Magic will probably be bittersweet for Udonis Haslem, who is set to retire at the end of the 2022-23 campaign.

While some might have wondered if the 42-year-old would even take to the court in his last-ever regular season contest, the Heat answered that question by subbing him in for Haywood Highsmith early in the game.

Unsurprisingly, countless fans in the home crowd stood up and applauded to show their respects.

The past several seasons have seen Haslem play sparingly, as he hasn’t appeared in more than 16 contests in a season since the 2016-17 campaign. Fortunately, fans got to see him on the court one last time on Sunday.

Miami is slated to play in at least two more matches in the postseason, but it is unlikely that the 20-year veteran will see action in those games.

It has certainly been a wild ride for Haslem, spending the last two decades representing the Heat. While he was never a star in the NBA, he was a quintessential role player and leader in the locker room, helping the franchise bring home three titles in a span of eight years.

His first ring, which he secured in the 2005-06 campaign, saw him start all but one match during the regular season and playoffs combined. Then in Miami’s second title run, Haslem played primarily off the bench. The power forward proved his value further to the team in its third championship by reclaiming his spot in the starting lineup.

To honor his contributions to the organization, Miami paid tribute to the Heat lifer prior to the bout versus the Magic. Funnily enough, Bam Adebayo presented his veteran teammate with a rocking chair.

Despite the mockery, Haslem will surely take home the chair, which was specially designed for him. Aside from his iconic jersey No. 40, the gift features an image of three championship trophies and quotes that have been associated with the big man throughout his lengthy career.

Of course, some former teammates were likely in attendance to watch Haslem’s swan song. Notably, Heat icon Dwyane Wade was also there.

It remains to be seen how the Florida native will end his playing career. He probably won’t be able to light up as Kobe Bryant or Wade did during their last hurrahs. In the first half of Sunday’s game, Haslem dropped 13 points in the first quarter on a 6-for-12 shooting clip.

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Orel writes all day, everyday. During the day, he writes and does research to complete his master's degree in education. During the night, he writes about the league he has loved since the '90s: the NBA.