Udonis Haslem would sometimes get ‘pissed’ inside Heat locker room when they were losing: ‘I know I can play!’

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Per Goran Dragic, there were times during Udonis Haslem’s NBA career where he would be aggravated inside of the Miami Heat’s locker room when Miami was losing and he wasn’t receiving playing time.

“I see that with U.D.,” Dragic said on the topic of NBA players aging. “He dedicated himself to the organization, to the young players. And he’s watching the game. We’re losing by 20. And he would come to the locker room pissed, like, ‘I know I can play! I know I can play 10 minutes, 15!’ And it’s true. But yeah, you just have to clear with yourself that you are there for the young players, to help ’em.”

Haslem barely saw the floor during his last eight seasons playing in the NBA. From the 2015-16 campaign on, he didn’t log more than 37 appearances in a single season. Additionally, he played in just 25 regular-season games combined during his final four seasons in the league, including seven in the 2022-23 season, his final year in the pros.

But earlier in his career with the Heat, he served as a valuable player on several great teams. For one, he was an instrumental part of the 2005-06 iteration of the Heat, a team that was led by Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal and won the NBA title.

During the 2005-06 regular season, the now 43-year-old played in all but one of Miami’s 82 games and averaged 9.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists per contest while shooting 50.8 percent from the field.

Another title team that Haslem was an important piece of was the 2011-12 Heat, who, at the time, boasted a star trio of Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh. Haslem had a smaller role with that team than he did the 2005-06 team, but he was still a consistent member of Erik Spoelstra’s rotation.

Across 64 appearances (10 starts) with Miami in the 2011-12 regular season, he averaged 6.0 points, 7.3 rebounds, 0.5 steals and 0.4 blocks per game on 42.3 percent shooting from the floor.

The following season, the Heat icon once again helped the franchise reach the promised land, starting many games in the regular season and playoffs to help Miami capture its third ring as a franchise.

Considering Haslem was such an impactful player for Miami during the Heat’s best seasons in franchise history, it must have been difficult for him to watch his team play from the bench as his NBA career slowed down.

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Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist with extensive experience covering the NBA.