Miami Heat forward Udonis Haslem is set to make his return with the team for the 18th straight year in the 2020-2021 NBA season. He has been with the team ever since he was acquired back in 2003 as an undrafted rookie and currently holds the longest active streak of any player when it comes to consecutive seasons on the same team with 17.
According to Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman, he recently made the announcement at a Subway sandwich shop he operates in Coconut Creek, saying it like he’s the Terminator:
“I am the Miami Heat; the Miami Heat is me.”
Despite seeing limited to no action on the floor for the Heat in the past season, Haslem remained to be a valuable piece of the team. He’s always been a strong voice in the locker room with Pat Riley looking to instate a youth movement. On a team that features incoming sophomores Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn along with fellow young standouts Duncan Robinson and Bam Adebayo, a calming presence like UD’s becomes much more vital.
As a mainstay on the Heat, Haslem has already become the franchise’s all-time leading rebounder. His next appearance on the court in the upcoming season will make him the oldest player in franchise history at age 40, passing former teammate and NBA veteran Juwan Howard.
Despite the commitment, details regarding Haslem’s new contract will not be discussed and revealed until Nov. 20 which marks the start of free agency in the league. He will most likely be inked to a $2.6 million veterans minimum deal, which will be similar to the type of contract that he has been under in the past few seasons.
With a three-time NBA champion in Udonis Haslem expected to be back at the helm for the Heat, the Erik Spoelstra-led team will aim to nurture their winning tradition and have another shot at the title next season.