At this point in his career, Haslem has earned the trust and respect of his teammates. It's probably also safe to say that he also has the ability to strike a bit of fear in the hearts and minds of his teammates — especially the younger players on the squad.
In a recent interview, Haslem revealed that he was actually in this exact same position some two decades ago. The man he feared was none other than team president Pat Riley (h/t Boardroom on Twitter):
“Pat Riley the symbol? You probably want to look at some mob s–t,” Haslem said. “I ain’t never been afraid of no man, but I think the first two years with the Miami Heat, I ain’t even speak to Pat. It was just uncomfortable. … I watched The Godfather. I seen all that s–t. So, I think the first couple of years was just uncomfortable, but Pat Riley the image? I think people hit the nail on the head: The f—-n' Godfather.”
"I ain’t never been afraid of no man, but I think the first two years with the Miami Heat, I ain’t even speak to Pat. … I watched The Godfather. I seen all that shit."@ThisIsUD on Pat Riley is 🔥. pic.twitter.com/zdfcSLeA8f
— Boardroom (@boardroom) August 29, 2022
If you think about it, that's actually a pretty accurate depiction of Riley. The Godfather was an iconic film that was released way back in 1972, so it wouldn't be surprising if the younger generation isn't too familiar with this piece of cinematic history. If you're one of these folks, then I suggest you do yourself a favor and watch this epic trilogy. You will not regret it.
As Udonis Haslem said, people hit the nail on the head when they likened Riley to Don Corleone of The Godfather. The renowned Heat exec just has a way of carrying himself that makes it feel like he's the most highly regarded individual in the room — just like Don Vito.