Udonis Haslem offers thankful, heartfelt message upon ending NBA career with Miami Heat

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Miami Heat legend Udonis Haslem had a heartfelt message following the team’s loss in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against the Denver Nuggets.

Miami lost the series on Monday night, and it marked the final game for Haslem in his NBA career. However, the longtime Heat big man shared how thankful and grateful he was for the 2022-23 season and his teammates.

“I love each and every one of those guys,” Haslem said. “And I thanked them for making my last year as memorable as they did. And I looked all of them in the eye, and I told them I have no regrets, and I have no complaints.”

Haslem has been a respected leader in Miami’s locker room for several years despite not playing as much down the stretch of his NBA career.

Even though he won’t be stepping away from the game as a champion, he shared how happy he was for his teammates to get to this point and play in the NBA Finals even though a lot of people counted them out.

Miami was just the second No. 8 seed in NBA history to make the NBA Finals.

As for his future plans, Haslem hopes to remain with the Heat.

“I just want to be part of this organization for the rest of my life, man,” Haslem said of his future plans. “It’s a lot of love here, man. This is family.”

For his career, Haslem averaged 7.5 points, 6.6 rebounds and 0.3 blocks per game while shooting 48.9 percent from the field. This season, he appeared in seven games for the Heat, making one start.

A three-time NBA champion, Haslem has been one of the most respected figures in the NBA, and the Heat kept him on the roster for several seasons because of his invaluable leadership qualities.

Haslem played an integral role on Miami’s championship teams with Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh as well as when the Heat won the title with Wade and Shaquille O’Neal in 2006.

It’s hard to imagine looking at the Miami sideline without Haslem on the bench, but it seems like he plans on remaining with the Heat in some capacity.

Heat fans should be grateful that Haslem was a part of the franchise for so many seasons and salute him on a great career.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.