Udonis Haslem

The work of Udonis Haslem is not yet complete. Haslem said on the last day of his basketball and cheer kids camp in South Florida that he will soon sign a one-year contract to return to the Miami Heat for a 20th season.

The Miami Herald reports that Haslem is close to agreeing to a one-year, $2.8 million veteran minimum contract.

Haslem added, “I have decided to carry out what I and my father had discussed.” That’s why I’ve committed to playing for another two decades: to complete what I’ve started. My dad and I discussed it, and I’ve decided to play this year.

There won’t be any similarities, and it won’t be as simple. Even so, the end goal hasn’t changed. You can leave it all on the field and yet come out on top, so go for the win and the title. I can still handle one more soda. I can still give this city one more thing. I can contribute to the group in one more way.

Last year, Haslem played in 13 games and contributed an average of 1.9 rebounds and 2.5 points in 6.4 minutes per contest. Since the 2015–16 season, he has not participated in more than 16 games in a single season.

Haslem has played in the NBA for at least 20 seasons, putting him in an elite group of athletes. Only Vince Carter, Dirk Nowitzki, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Kobe Bryant, Jamal Crawford, Robert Parish, Kevin Willis, and Kevin Garnett have spent over a decade in the NBA. This season, the likes of LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony will also be a part of that group.

Only Bryant (with the Lakers) and Nowitzki (with the Mavericks) have remained with the same team during their entire 20-year careers. You can count on Haslem to be the third.

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Haslem renewed his contract with the Heat for another year. Haslem appeared in four games for the Heat this season, starting the season finale against the Indiana Pacers at power forward. He was the first undrafted player in the modern era to play until age 40, and he became the 30th player in league history to do it during that season.

Udonis Haslem

After Vince Carter retired during the season’s suspension because of the COVID-19 outbreak, Udonis Haslem became the NBA’s oldest active player. Haslem remained on the active roster but did not play for the Heat in the postseason despite the team’s run to the 2020 NBA Finals, where they were eliminated in six games by the Los Angeles Lakers.

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Haslem renewed his contract with the Heat on November 28 of that year, 2020.  On May 13, 2021, against the Philadelphia 76ers, he made his 2020-21 season debut. Haslem, at age 40, became the oldest player in the NBA to be ejected in the last 20 years after scoring four points in two minutes off the bench before getting into a fight with Dwight Howard.

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