Miami Heat: Udonis Haslem gives back to Miami First Responders

Udonis Haslem #40 of the Miami Heat poses for a portrait during media day (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Udonis Haslem #40 of the Miami Heat poses for a portrait during media day (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Miami Heat great, champion and current team captain Udonis Haslem is everything Miami. Recently, he gave back to those giving their all for his city.

When you think about the Miami Heat, what are the first things or people that come to mind? There are many possible answers to this question and most of them aren’t that complex to guess.

Some will say South Beach. Others will say Dwyane Wade.

Some will inevitably say The Big 3. You may even have quite a few that say Pat Riley or Erik Spoelstra. Those are the responses you would tend to expect to get when asking that question though and rightfully so.

One of the answers that you might not expect to get, unless talking to a diehard Miami Heat, Miami sports, NBA, or sports fan, in general, is Udonis Haslem. While none of the aforementioned responses are wrong, by far and all being as significant as any other, responding with the name of the guy who goes by UD just means something different when associated with the city of Miami.

We all know the story by now. He was born and raised in the city. He went to high school in Miami.

Although he left the city to go to college, he never left Florida and thus remained close. He went away for one year to France to get his professional career started after college, before returning to his rightful place in the city of Miami in 2003 to play for his hometown professional basketball club, the Miami Heat.

17 years later, he’s still roaming the sidelines, the locker room, and occasionally even the hardwood for his city’s team. He still goes just as hard as ever for the city he calls his own as well, as he did in the highly publicized piece that he penned for The Players Tribune in response to spring breakers not heeding the coronavirus warnings along Florida’s beaches.

He’s still going hard for his city in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic as well. According to Close Up 360UD gave back to the first responders in his city recently, donating meals from a restaurant co-owned by him and the greatest Miami Heat player ever, Dwyane Wade. According to the report, Haslem brought food to two healthcare facilities and the fire department.

Udonis Haslem is the definition of walking the talk. He always makes it known, as far as what the city means to him and on each moment that he gets the opportunity to show it, he does.

This is why he has been the perfect anchor for this Miami Heat franchise for all these years as well. He not only stands for everything good and right about the franchise but that works and has an organic feel because he really stands for everything right about the city. There has been retirement talk in the air, but naysayers be darned, I can be sold on at least another year of The OG‘s wisdom and presence.

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That is the hope, but one step at a time, as we would be happy at the moment to just finish this season. This, however, was UD being UD as brought meals to some of Miami’s first responders, displaying exactly why he’s the captain.