‘My a-s was almost out of here’: Udonis Haslem speaks on wild reality that almost ended his Heat tenure

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Philadelphia 76ers legend Allen Iverson is widely regarded as one of the greatest guards to ever play the game, and while he never managed to win an NBA championship during his career, he certainly had the talent to help lead a team to the promised land.

As Miami Heat legend Udonis Haslem recently told it, Iverson nearly had a chance to try to win a title as a member of the Heat. In fact, Haslem was going to be one of the prime pieces that would’ve helped Miami trade for Iverson.

“I remember my name was in the hat one time,” Haslem said. “We was talkin’ about makin’ a move for Iverson. And my name got thrown in the hat a little bit. And I was all shook up and s—, but D-Wade (Dwyane Wade) was like, ‘Man, that’s Allen Iverson.’ I think whatever reason, that didn’t work. I don’t know if the dynamics with him and Dwyane would have worked at that time. So I think dynamically, it didn’t work, but my a– was almost out of here. How can I argue if you bring in Allen Iverson?”

It would have been hard to see Haslem go, but bringing in Iverson — potentially during the prime of his career — would have been a sight to behold.

From the video, it’s not entirely clear when the potential trade was discussed. However, considering the fact that Iverson was moved from the 76ers to the Denver Nuggets during the 2006-07 NBA season, it stands to reason that it may have been around that time.

In 147 regular season games from the 2006-07 season through the 2007-08 season, Iverson put up an incredible 26.3 points, 7.2 assists, 3.0 rebounds and 1.9 steals per game.

That kind of firepower next to Wade, who was at the beginning of his prime around then, would have been incredibly difficult to stop.

If the trade had occurred during that time, it would have created a Big 3 in Miami of Wade, Iverson and Shaquille O’Neal, who was on the team before being traded to the Phoenix Suns in the 2007-08 season.

It’s impossible to know what would’ve happened had the Heat traded Haslem in a package for Iverson. Iverson was supremely talented, but as Haslem himself indicated, the dynamics may not have worked out so well on the court.

Beyond that, Haslem is someone who’s often credited with helping to build the Heat’s vaunted culture. That culture may have never even been created had Haslem’s career with the team only lasted a few seasons.

In the end, Heat fans would likely agree that everything worked out as it was meant to. Haslem stayed with the Heat and finished his career as a three-time champion with them.

As for Iverson, his NBA career lasted into the 2009-10 season. He returned the Philadelphia during that final campaign. He was named to the All-Star Game that season despite only playing in 28 regular season games — three with the Memphis Grizzlies and 25 with the Sixers.

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Jonathan is a freelance writer, filmmaker, and passionate fan of the NBA. In the past Jonathan has covered politics, entertainment, travel, and more. He is a proud contributor of Heat Nation.