US basketball

Heat to retire Udonis Haslem’s No. 40

Reuters

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Heat to retire Udonis Haslem’s No. 40

HEAT LEGEND. Udonis Haslem is one of only three players to play at least two decades with the same franchise.

Sam Navarro/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

The Heat immortalizes Udonis Haslem, who spent his entire 20-year NBA career with the Miami franchise

The Miami Heat will retire Udonis Haslem’s No. 40 next month, making him the sixth player in franchise history to be so honored.

The ceremony will be held January 19 during halftime of the Heat’s game against the Atlanta Hawks.

Haslem spent his entire 20-year NBA career with the franchise, signing as an undrafted free agent from Florida in August 2003 and retiring after seeing limited action in the 2022-23 season.

Now 43, Haslem won three NBA championships, seven Eastern Conference titles and 12 divisional crowns with the Heat. He was a team captain for 16 seasons.

“It’s about a great legacy, a Thank You moment that has been earned over 20 years of being an incredible championship player and most importantly, the best leader,” Heat president Pat Riley said in a news release. “He’s going to have his day and I can’t wait to see his jersey hang in the rafters.”

That jersey will join those of fellow Miami greats Alonzo Mourning, Tim Hardaway, Shaquille O’Neal, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.

He is one of only three players in NBA history (Kobe Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers and Dirk Nowitzki with the Dallas Mavericks) to play at least 20 seasons with one franchise.

Haslem is Miami’s all-time rebounding leader and ranks second in games played, starts, and minutes in franchise history. His 147 postseason appearances are the most by an undrafted player in league history.

A Miami native, Haslem now is the vice president of basketball development for the team.

In 879 career games (501 starts), Haslem averaged 7.5 points and 6.6 rebounds. – Rappler.com

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