Miami Heat: Udonis Haslem is Heat Culture… that’s why he’s back

Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat talks with Udonis Haslem #40 prior to the game against the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
Jimmy Butler #22 of the Miami Heat talks with Udonis Haslem #40 prior to the game against the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

The Miami Heat brought Udonis Haslem back for a few reasons. The most important is because he is a voice of reason and leadership in the locker room.

The Miami Heat’s longest-tenured player, Udonis Haslem, is returning for his eighteenth season and all with the same franchise. It shows new players and young players what the ” Culture” is about.

Haslem is the “OG” of the franchise and has the respect of everyone in the organization, from the top down. When I heard the news that Haslem was returning to Miami, I was thrilled but apparently other Miami fans were up in arms about the signing.

Needless to say, this caught me by surprise. On Twitter, I saw a lot of comments from fans complaining about the signing because he “takes up the last roster spot”, which honestly makes me laugh.

We have gotten to the point of when talking basketball, it’s all about what the numbers say. People who don’t have a clue are now talking basketball and using numbers to explain themselves.

People like that are the same ones that are mad at Haslem because he doesn’t play as much anymore, if at all, and takes up a roster spot from a young player. For example, I remember the same people were mad when Miami waived Okaro White because he showed “flashes”.

The Miami Heat know where their bread is buttered. That’s why UD still has a roster spot.

People were suggesting that Miami made a mistake. Also, I remember when Miami waived fan-favorite Rodney McGruder on the last week of the season, which to be fair was a bad look because it saved Miami from getting into the luxury tax.

But, I saw the opposite reaction about keeping Haslem, relative to McGruder. Do fans not understand what Haslem’s role is with this organization?

Look no further than these past playoffs, where we saw videos of Haslem yelling at the team, where all players were all eyes and ears towards him. No assistant coach is going to get that reaction, especially when Haslem is still putting in the work at practice.

I see fans on Twitter saying “he should just coach” but for people who don’t understand, the moment he trades in his jersey for a suit, players will see him as a coach and not one of them.

That part is important. Being one of the guys makes his voice a bit more powerful right now.

Head Coach Erik Spoelstra and Miami’s whole front office values what he brings to the team. Haslem has been key in showing Bam Adebayo what the ” Culture” is and means.

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Everyone in that locker room respects Haslem’s voice and his work ethic. So, for the people on Twitter really complaining about that last roster spot… they can kick rocks.

Stop always looking at the box score because what Haselm brings to the team is bigger than a plus/minus. It’s much bigger.