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NBA Daily: End of the Road for Udonis Haslem

Udonis Haslem spoke with Basketball Insiders about playing in Miami his entire career, retiring at the end of the season and more.

David Yapkowitz

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Life in the NBA goes by quickly. One minute you’re a fresh-faced rookie ready to take the league by storm, and next minute you’re on the bench wondering if it’s time to hang it upΒ and enjoy the free time with entertainment on one ofΒ theΒ best betting sitesΒ .

Sometimes players hang on longer than they should in hopes of recapturing that magic from their younger years, holding on to that old flame. And some players realize when it’s time to go.

For Udonis Haslem, he’s quite confident that time is now. At age 38, Haslem is the fourth oldest player in the league behind Vince Carter (41), Dirk Nowitzki (40) and Jamal Crawford (who is a few months older than Haslem).

Haslem’s teammate, Dwyane Wade, announced prior to the start of the season that this would be his final season. He re-signed with the Miami HEAT on a one-year deal with the intention of retiring at the end of the season.

Haslem also re-signed with the HEAT on a one-year deal this past summer and talked with Basketball Insiders about his plans for the end of the season.

“I’m gonna call it done too. There’s nothing else left for me to do on the basketball court,” Haslem told Basketball Insiders. “My kids are getting older, my son is playing college football at the University of Toledo, my 11-year-old is playing travel baseball and I never see him as he’s always out of town. My eight year old is playing travel basketball. There’s so many other things for me to be engaged in right now.”

When Haslem and Wade hang it up after this season, LeBron James will be the final member of the HEAT’s 2013 championship team still in the league. The others are either retired, or the ones still playing are all overseas.

That’s not to say that Haslem can’t still contribute to an NBA team. He’s kept himself in tremendous shape and even now he’s ready to go should his name be called. He’s only played in three games this season with a career-low 4.7 minutes per game.

However, on Dec. 8 in a big road win over the Los Angeles Clippers, Haslem played a season-high eight minutes. Due to multiple injuries that night, Haslem’s number was called. He pulled down four rebounds and gave the HEAT a physical presence on the defensive end as he’s always done his entire career.

Haslem recognizes that his role on the team has changed over the years, but he’s staying ready no matter what.

“My role is a little bit different now, my role is whatever is needed each night. Being down some guys, I was called upon to play. We were down two guys and I was called upon to go out there and contribute and give them some minutes,” Haslem told Basketball Insiders after the game. “70 percent of the time my contributions are my voice, my leadership, my experience, and everything I can give to these guys.”

Along with his longevity in the NBA, one of the main things Haslem has prided himself on is being able to play his entire career with one franchise. Wade might have come close to being able to say that, but he spent a year in Chicago and then half a season in Cleveland before returning to South Beach.

Growing up in Miami, Haslem has been the hometown hero. He went undrafted in the 2002 NBA draft, but the HEAT gave him his first chance a year later. Over the years, he established himself as a tough, defensive-minded player who wasn’t afraid to dish out some hard fouls. He could also score as well. He had four seasons where he averaged double-figures in points, and he had 17 points in the 2006 title-clinching Game 6 against the Dallas Mavericks.

He had opportunities to leave the HEAT throughout his career, such as the time the Mavericks and the Denver Nuggets came calling with big offers in the summer of 2010. Each time though, he always opted to stay home.

“It’s rare, it’s something I can always take with me. A lot of guys can’t say that in this league. In this time, you change cities, you change teams, loyalty is kind of forgotten,” Haslem told Basketball Insiders. “To be able to say that, to be able to say I played for my organization my whole career, and not just played for one organization but had success individually and collectively as a team.”

And as the sun begins to set on his 16-year NBA career, Haslem wants to be remembered as a guy who did whatever was asked of him. A guy that his teammates knew they could go to war with every single night.

“Just a leader, a leader, and a winner. I’m a guy that did whatever it takes to get the job done, I told Dwyane [Wade] that the other day. My motivation whenever I stepped on the floor was to just be a guy that everyone can depend on,” Haslem told Basketball Insiders. “Playing with LeBron and playing with Chris Bosh, playing with Dwyane, Ray Allen, these superstar kind of guys, I wanted to be a guy that they knew they could depend on every night. Whatever was needed to bring to the table, I was going to bring that.”

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Legacy

Looking For A Few Great Voices!

From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

Basketball Insiders

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From time to time we have open chairs at Basketball Insiders for writers looking to gain experience, grow their brand and to be part of an aggressive up-tempo content team.

We are considering adding new voices for the 2020-21 NBA Season, and what we are looking for is very specific.

Here are the criteria:
– A body of professional work that reflects an understanding of the NBA and basketball.
– Must live within 30 minutes of an NBA team.
– Must be willing to write two to three times per week on various topics as assigned.
– Must write in AP style and meet assigned deadlines.
– Be willing to appear in Podcasts and Video projects as needed and scheduled.
– Have a strong understanding of social media and its role in audience development.
– Be willing to work in a demanding virtual team environment.

Some things to know and consider:
– We are not hiring full-time people. If you are seeking a full-time gig, this is not that.
– This will be a low or non-compensation role initially. We need to understand your value and fit.
– We have a long track record of creating opportunities for those that excel in our program.
– This will be a lengthy interview and evaluation process. We take this very seriously, so should you.
– If you are not committed to being great, this is not the right situation for you.

If you are interested, please follow these specific instructions, Drop us an e-mail with:

Your Name:

The NBA Market You Live Near:

And Why We Should Consider You:

We do not need your resume, but a few links to work you have done under the above information would be helpful.

Please send all of this to: openings2021@basketballinsiders.com

 

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Headlines

#17 – Aleksej Pokusevski – Oklahoma City Thunder

David Yapkowitz

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With the 17th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft, the Oklahoma City Thunder select Aleksej Pokusevski from Serbia. The Thunder completed a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves to acquire the pick.

Pokusevski is a long term project, but one that has has an intriguing skillset. A 7-footer with good speed and quickness, Pokusevski plays like a wing and can pass like a guard. But, to truly thrive at the next level, Pokusevski will need to put on some serious weight.

Again, he’s a project. But Pokusevski’s ceiling is sky-high. And, with a rebuild ahead of them, the Thunder have more than enough time to work with him and ensure he reaches it.

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Mock Drafts

2020 NBA Mock Draft – The Final 60-Pick Mock

What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Steve Kyler

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What a long and winding road the 20201 NBA Draft has been. While this draft cycle has seen its ups and down, the moment of truth if finally upon us.

Here is a final look at the 2020 Draft, and how it may play out in this final 60-pick Mock Draft of the 20202 NBA Draft process:

 

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