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Pat Riley says Heat will retire jersey of Udonis Haslem

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Pat Riley says Heat will retire jersey of Udonis Haslem
USA Today Network

Heat president Pat Riley said the team will retire the No. 40 jersey of Udonis Haslem. Of course, Haslem is now entering his 20th NBA season.

On Monday, Riley released a statement: “From the first day that I saw him compete, to the last day when we retire his jersey at our FTX Arena, UD will go down in our team’s history as one of the best to ever play for the Miami Heat.”

If the 2022-23 season is Haslem’s final season, the Heat will likely retire his number during the 2023-24 season. As of right now, the date is unknown.

Haslem has spent his entire 19-year career with the Heat. He is the team’s all-time leader in rebounds (5,780). The Miami native is the first undrafted player in NBA history to lead a franchise in rebounds.

To add to his accomplishments, the 42-year-old will join Dirk Nowitzki and Kobe Bryant as the only players to play 20 seasons for the same NBA franchise.

Not to mention, Haslem ranks second in franchise history in games played (872), starts (500) and minutes played (21,648).

Pat Riley says Heat will retire jersey of Udonis Haslem

The 6’8″ forward went undrafted out of Florida in 2002. From 2002–03, Haslem played for Élan Sportif Chalonnais, a professional French basketball club.

On August 6, 2003, Haslem then signed as a free agent with the Heat.

In his rookie 2003-04 season, the forward averaged 7.3 points and 6.3 rebounds per game. Through 74 appearances and 24 starts, Haslem also averaged 45.9% shooting from the field. He was selected to the NBA All-Rookie Second Team.

Additionally, the forward helped Dwyane Wade and the rest of the Heat win their first championship in the 2006 NBA Finals in six games over the Dallas Mavericks.

In the following season, in the Heat’s 113-106 win over the New Jersey Nets (Brooklyn), Haslem scored a career-high 28 points in 39 minutes of action. He finished 10-for-14 (71.4%) shooting from the floor and 8-for-11 (72.7%) at the free throw line.

During the 2007-08 season, Haslem averaged a career-high 12 points per game. In 49 games played, while shooting 46.7% from the floor, he also averaged 9 rebounds and 1.4 assists per game.

Then, he assisted LeBron James, Chris Bosh, Ray Allen and Wade in winning back-to-back titles in 2012 and 2013. Pat Riley pulled a few strings with LeBron to help assemble this team.

In the Heat’s 2011-12 championship season, Haslem averaged 6 points and 7.3 rebounds per game in 64 games played and 10 starts. Plus, he averaged 42.3% shooting from the field.

Furthermore, during the Heat’s 2012-13 repeat season, the forward came off the bench in most games. In 75 appearances and 59 starts, Haslem averaged 3.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.

As for his playoff performances, while shooting 48% from the field in 147 postseason games and 84 starts, Haslem has averaged 5.7 points and 5.6 rebounds per game.

In Heat franchise history, he ranks second in playoff appearances (147), second in rebounds (822) and third in minutes played (3,196). More news stories on Udonis Haslem are on the main page.

James is a Basketball Insiders contributor. He earned his bachelor's degree in English and Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University. James enjoys watching sports and helping gamblers win money.

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