42-year-old Udonis Haslem becomes the oldest player to play in the NBA Finals

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Miami veteran Udonis Haslem only appeared on the Kaseya Center’s floor for 29.8 seconds in his team’s loss to Denver in Game 3 of the NBA Finals this Wednesday night. The moment he entered the match, he became the oldest player to ever appear in a championship series, as he’s currently 42 years and 363 days old. 

Prior to his new record, Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the owner of this mark. Back in June 13, 1989, the Hall of Famer appeared in the finals at the age of 42 years and 58 days old.

His brief participation in the contest wasn’t able to influence the game in his team’s favor, as the Nuggets conquered the evening with a dominant 109-94 victory in Florida. Nevertheless, Haslem’s new record just goes to show that he’s still worthy of play-time to his coach Erik Spoelstra.

Take a look at the moment when he enters the match and forever marks a historic appearance in the NBA:

The athlete, who turns 43 on Friday, talked about his imminent retirement back in March, as he’s guaranteed this will be his final campaign no matter what happens.

“I’m done,” he said at the end of regular season. “I’m done no matter what happens. I gave my contribution. I think at this stage, there needs to be another voice for these guys. It’s time for somebody to step up and be the voice.”

It would be prudent to acknowledge that the veteran’s impact must not be measured in numbers, as his true influence has come as a mentor for younger talents and a locker room leader who is listened by all when he decides to speak his mind.

“I don’t know if it would just be just one person,” Haslem said when asked if he could be replaced. “So, it’s going to be collective. A lot of collective voices and a lot of collective leadership. But there’s no doubt in my mind that these guys will figure it out. They’ll get it done.”

Udonis recently ripped into presidential candidate Ron DeSantis as he believes the politician is ruining Florida’s reputation

Even during the NBA Finals, the players can’t help but have their feelings involved in recent politics surrounding Florida. Haslem, couldn’t keep his ideas to himself about Ron DeSantis when interviewed on taking the championship series from Denver to South Beach for Game 3 and 4.

“Well first and foremost I’m going to ask people out there to stop Florida-shaming us,” Haslem said this week. “Everybody ain’t down with what’s going on in Florida. People think that because you live in Florida, like you just down with the [expletive]. We’re not. I’m not down with it. I’m not happy about it.

Haslem is a true Floridian, considering he went to high school in Miami and attended the University of Florida. As a basketball professional, this is also his 20th season with the Heat.

Not many could have predicted at the time that Heat would go on to make a run to the NBA Finals. Now that Miami is just three wins away from a title, Haslem has a true opportunity in his hands to end his career with yet another championship.