Veteran big man Udonis Haslem has spent his entire NBA career with the Miami Heat.
Haslem, who turned 42 years old earlier this year, has received a bit of flack from fans in recent years for claiming one of the Heat’s roster spots. That is true despite the fact that his role with Miami has clearly worked for both the players and coaches of the team.
Recently, Haslem joined Duncan Robinson’s podcast and discussed the criticism he’s received. It will come as no surprise to Heat fans who know Haslem well that the veteran had some strong words for those who have expressed doubt over his role.
“Another misconception is that I take up a roster spot,” he said. “People don’t know that we got the most undrafted people in the NBA on our team. There’s literally something going on here, people, which you dumb motherf—— can’t understand. You’re so focused on my age and why I’m here. There’s a reason why I’m f—— here.”
It’s an incredibly important point that he brings up, and it is one that is certainly not a coincidence. The Heat are seen as something of a factory when it comes to identifying undrafted talent and turning it into true NBA production.
Perhaps some people think that is just a combination of scouting and luck, but development clearly plays a crucial role as well.
It’s fascinating to get a little bit of insight into the value that Haslem brings to the Heat. Obviously, many people know that he is at the center of the team’s culture, but the fact that he specifically helps mold undrafted players into NBA producers is likely really interesting for fans to hear.
It will be fun to see if any undrafted player rises up the ranks for the Heat in the upcoming season.