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Udonis Haslem explains how he wound up with Heat instead of Spurs

Udonis Haslem

Miami Heat icon Udonis Haslem has spent his entire NBA career in South Beach. Heck, he’s played his whole basketball life in the state of Florida.

Haslem, born and raised in Miami, played his high school ball in South Beach and then went to college at the University of Florida.

After getting undrafted in 2003, Haslem signed a free agent deal with the Heat on August 6, 2003. The now 38-year-old, though, admits he almost ended up with the San Antonio Spurs.

“Miami means everything,” Haslem told Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated. “Staying with Miami my whole career is probably one of the best decisions I ever made, but it’s always been one of the hardest. “It’s funny how this league works, because San Antonio offered me a contract first before the Miami Heat. And once Miami realized San Antonio offered me a contract, then they came back with a better one.

“I’ve had opportunities to go play other places for more money, and you play this game to win and provide for your family. So it was always that dilemma where, ‘Can I win at this place? If I can’t, is it an opportunity to make X amount of dollars?’ Which at the end of the day, ultimately when you walk away from this game, that’s what you living off of. So, for me, it’s never been an easy decision.”

Udonis Haslem is the Heat franchise leader in total rebounds. He’s won three championships with the franchise as well.

The power forward doesn’t have the greatest stats, but when you think about Miami basketball, the first two names that come to mind are Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem.