News Sports: Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem announced Sunday afternoon that he will be returning for his 20th and final season with the franchise. Haslem made this announcement during his youth basketball camp in Miami.
“I decided to continue what my father and I said, and I’m going to finish what I started and play 20,” Haslem said. “I’m going to play this year because I talked about it with my dad.”
When Haslem, 42, comes out with the Heat in the fall, he will join Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki as the only two players in league history to have spent 20 or more seasons with the same brand. Haslem, who was not enlisted from the University of Florida in 2002, is a three-time champion with the Heat and Miami’s all-time leader in rebounds.
Haslem’s father passed away early last season, and when Haslem returned he said it was “probably the hardest time I’ve ever had”. Although his father is not with him this season, Haslem said his father wants him to play 20 seasons in the league, and he intends to do so.