Bam Adebayo, drafted and groomed by the Miami Heat, hopes that he can spend his entire NBA career in South Beach like Udonis Haslem
The Heat are a destination team due to their winning culture and great weather, so Adebayo in some ways lucked out when he was drafted by the Heat. His personality and work ethic, though, parallel the motivations of the Heat, and the team has developed and groomed Adebayo into a winner.
Adebayo is one of the front-runners for the Most Improved Player of the Year award and was named to his first All-Star team this year. In just his third season, Adebayo has shown that he has the skillset to be a key piece of a team competing for an NBA Finals bid.
That’s the sort of talent and personality that Miami seeks, whether in free agency, trades, or the draft.
Adebayo wants to be in Miami long-term, for his entire career if he can.
Speaking to iHeartRadio on Instagram Live, (transcribed by the Miami Herald), Adebayo said:
“If I could, I would like to stay here like [Udonis Haslem]. But you never know what happens in the future. Everybody just knew D-Wade was a lifer until he left because of situational reasons. You never know. But for me, I feel like I am. I feel like I would want to be a part of [one] organization like UD did just because I look up to UD.”
It’s got to be relieving for Heat fans to hear that, though it’s not a shocking quote by any means. Miami has built a strong culture that praises players that work hard and earn their keep.
Adebayo, of course, knows that it might not be up to him. Should he need to stand up for his worth to the team, he may need to make a decision similar to Dwyane Wade.
Pat Riley and the Heat have seen a star walk in the past in Wade, though, and have hopefully learned from the mistake of not paying a talented Heat lifer. They can and should shell out a solid chunk of change to retain Adebayo.
It’s cool to see Haslem get his nod in Adebayo’s reasoning, as well. Him being the model, the archetype of staying in one place and becoming a stable contributor, and that being a replicable template for such a talented young player, that shows that the Heat are doing things right.
Adebayo’s got his sights on the highest achievement of all — the Larry O’Brien trophy.
“You hear the fans talk about it. You see when D-Wade walks in, the love he gets because he brought the city three championships. Him and UD, everywhere they go in Miami, somebody is stopping to take a picture because they got so much respect with what they’ve done on the court. I want to win. I want that type of love.”
Miami is for Bam, and Bam is for Miami. Heat lifer? He just might be.