In an absolute no-brainer decision, the Miami Heat will be retiring the jersey of Udonis Haslem up to the rafters on Jan. 19 when the team plays against the Atlanta Hawks. The team announced the date Friday, funny enough, before they play the Hawks tonight.

Heat president and basketball legend Pat Riley provided a statement about the No. 40 being retired in honor of Haslem as the two have known each other since 2002 when the player went un-drafted out of the University of Florida. He praises the long-time Heat member as being “the best leader” to go along with a “great legacy.”

“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,” Riley said. “He’s going to have his day and I can’t wait to see his jersey hang in the rafters.”

Haslem's impact on the organization is felt whether he is there or not as it has shown this season. He played for Miami for 20 seasons before making the decision to retire after the Heat lost in the NBA Finals to the Denver Nuggets earlier this year.

He has the most rebounds in Heat history with rebounds and ranks among the team in all-time leaders in games played (second), minutes (second), and field goals made (fifth). Also, Haslem will be the sixth Miami player to join the rafters as the others are Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Shaquille O'Neal, Alonzo Mourning, and Tim Hardaway.

Haslem will still be with the Heat, but not as a player

Miami Heat's new member of the front office Udonis Haslem in front of the Kaseya Center.

While he won't be on the court anymore, he won't leave the Heat organization as he obtained a front office role as the Vice President of Basketball Development. According to the team, his responsibilities include “being a resource to the coaching staff, mentoring both HEAT and Skyforce players as well as representing the organization in the community and in business endeavors.”

He poked fun at his attitude saying that it was hard to criticize a game from home and now he will get paid to do it with this new role. Haslem stressed that he wanted to be in the locker room helping out the players in anyway he can.

“I’m a very ambitious person and everything that I’m involved in are things that are personal to me,” Haslem said. “So it allows me to be the best version of myself. I love watching basketball and talking basketball all day. It’s hard to watch a game at home because I start critiquing and complaining. So now I can get paid to critique and complain. And just being in the locker room with these guys, that’s who I am, that’s what I am. Moving the needle.”

Haslem always connected to Miami since the beginning

When it was announced he would take a role in the Heat's front office, it seemed inevitable a decision like this would happen. Haslem said to the media that he always wanted to know how the behind-the-scene aspect works for an NBA team, but also wanted to be connected to the city of Miami.

“I always wanted to understand how that stuff works,” Haslem said. “I always wanted to be a part of that stuff at a higher level. Not just showing up, shaking hands, kissing babies. But really understand what goes on behind the scenes with events and the partnerships and all the things we’re connected to in the city of Miami and just around the world. For me, I’ve been working in this organization for 20 years. I understand the locker room, I understand the culture. Now it’s trying to understand the business part.”

There's no doubt that Haslem will bleed South Florida through and through as he made an impact being a Miami-native since going to high school at Miami High, than being an aforementioned Gator which would result to helping the Heat to acquire three championships.

The Heat are 16-12 which puts them at sixth in the Eastern Conference. Miami looks to win two straight as they face the Hawks tonight and get on a winning streak before the New Year.