Odonis Haslem scored a goal with his father before his death to play twenty seasons in the NBA, and this year the Miami Heat star will achieve it. Haslem announced that he will be returning to the Heat in his final year in August and back once again to be the bearer of Heat Culture, but also pass the torch on so that he remains synonymous with this Heat team. Haslem shared that his comeback is not just for him and the goal he made with his father, it’s a sacrifice and something to do for the next generation and he cited heat culture as something that saved him.
“This is not a damn charitable cause. This is a sacrifice. I am sacrificing for the sake of the next generation. You know, as a bearer of heat culture, I take it seriously. It’s not a game. It’s not a joke. I know people are talking about it. Shame on what it is and what it isn’t. But it’s real. It’s real. Culture is real. Culture has saved a lot of men, not just me,” Haslem shared in a statement.
Eric Spoelstra in the final season of Haslem
Miami Heat coach Eric Spoelstra had a funny exchange with the media when asked about it being the opening game of Haslim’s final season.
“Are we going to have to do it all year, his last home game, his last road trip? I don’t even want to think about it,” Heat coach Eric Spoelstra said with a laugh. “I’ve said it before, I went through it with Dwayne [Wade] And I really want to be there and enjoy it. I don’t want to feel sad when I think of the end of this chapter. Because there will be another great chapter after this. I just want to be able to enjoy it.”
Spoelstra also commented on the supreme impact that Haslem has on the organization whether or not he enters the game.
“I love having him in our locker room. I love being a leader and mentor for him every single day,” Spoelstra said. “I think his genius is in the fact that he develops mentors around him, the next round of mentors, guys who are really going to be patrons of this culture and really help In bringing in other men. It really is an amazing quality that UD has. He has such a servant heart.”
Udonis Haslem on Next in Line Bam Adebayo
As the bearer of Heat Culture, Haslem already determined who he would pass the torch to in the Big Heat man Pam Adebayo. Adebayo recently spoke about the impact Haslem has had on him as a leader and how he hopes to move forward.
“I had a lot of passionate conversations with him,” Adebayo said. ‘Because it’s like, when I first came here, I wasn’t the man I should have. I need you here.’ I’ve kind of been a go-to where it fits in. As my years went on, it made me break out of my comfort zone. It made me be more outspoken.”
also shared with Anthony Chiang from the Miami Herald It was an honor to be the person that Haslem identified to continue the tradition of heat culture.
“But I’ve had a lot of emotional conversations with that guy about it. This is his last season, so he has to pass it on to someone. I feel like it’s a blessing for him to trust me to lead this team and the organization, and continue to be the culture owner.”