The NBA’s oldest athlete Udonis Haslem has decided to retire at the end of the season “no matter what happens” – Basketball Insiders
The time has finally come for Udonis Haslem to retire from professional basketball, as this Sunday the player revealed his intentions of ending his career at the end of the 2022/23 campaign. The Heat captain is already 42 years of age and has been playing for 20 season in the NBA.
Haslem, who is currently the oldest player in the league, has spent all of his career playing for his only true love, the Miami Heat. He joined the Florida side back in 2003 and earned three championships with them in 2006, 2012 and 2013.
“I’m done,” the foward admitted to the Miami Herald. “I’m done no matter what happens. I gave my contribution. I think at this stage, there needs to be another voice for these guys. It’s time for somebody to step up and be the voice.”
After 20 years with Miami, Udonis Haslem is calling it a career. 👏 pic.twitter.com/BhsfyxFrLc
— theScore (@theScore) March 5, 2023
The veteran, who has only played six games this tournament, has averaged 7.5 points and 6.6 rebounds throughout his time as a pro. The 2007/08 season saw his best scoring ever, as the foward achieved averages of 12 points per match and an impressive 9 rebounds to go along with his stats that year.
“I’m just trying to get to the playoffs,” the 42-year-old said. “It’s one thing at a time, man. I can only focus on one thing at a time. So the focus is trying to get into the playoffs right now.”
The Heat is planning a spectacular sendoff to celebrate Haslem
Miami is preparing something big to commemorate the player’s 20 year dedication to the franchise ahead of his final regular season home match.
The Heat announced a celebration called the “4 Days of 40” to honor the Miami-native’s career. The activities will start on March 23rd as a digital content series dedicated to Haslem.
“Obviously, there is a tremendous amount of love and respect in this organization for Udonis. The marketing department, we absolutely love Udonis. He has been great to us in his 20 years here,” said the team’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer Michael McCullough.
“We’ve been trying to go out of our way thinking about how we can properly say thank you and recognize what he’s meant to this organization,” the VP stated.
Check out the 42-year-old’s best plays of his career in the following Youtube video:
“These four days are really more like, if this was a backyard barbecue or a house party and you’re sitting around and you’re swapping Udonis stories, that’s the tone of these four days,” McCullough assured.
Haslem himself called the four-day activities as an “amazing gesture”, expressing himself as “thankful and appreciative”. Nevertheless, he says there is no time for distractions as his only focus now is on getting the squad to this year’s playoffs.
The Florida team is currently standing 7th in the Eastern Conference’s standings with a 34-31 record, as they are trying to avoid the play-in tournament, sitting only two games behind the Brooklyn Nets competing for the last definite playoff position in the conference.
A few of our favorite sport betting sites do not consider the Heat to be title-contenders this campaign, but still believe they possess the 12th best odds (+7000) to conquer the title this season.