With Udonis Haslem having retired after 20 seasons with the Miami Heat, Bam Adebayo is prepared to become the team’s new leader.
A key component to success in the NBA is to have great leadership in the locker room, on and off the court. Players who can provide motivation to their teammates during down moments in the season, give great advice to young players and set a good example can lead to team stability. For the Miami Heat, the unquestioned leader over the last few seasons was Udonis Haslem.
But with Haslem now retired after 20 seasons with the team, the Heat are looking for a player to fill that void. When asked about stepping into a leadership role with Haslem gone, Heat center Bam Adebayo made it known that he is ready to step up to the challenge and become a team leader.
“Definitely embracing it, definitely taking that under my wing,” Adebayo told reporters at media day. “You know, UD has showed me so much guidance in the last six years of my career. So just implementing that into the season, into the young guys.”
During his six seasons in Miami, Adebayo has had the luxury of learning from accomplished veterans, with two key players being Haslem and the greatest player in Heat history, Dwyane Wade.
Adebayo is in a unique situation of being thrust into a leadership role while, at the same time, stepping into his playing prime.
Adebayo is only 26 and has improved every season since he’s been in the league, developing into an All-Star and is now one of the premiere defenders in the game. He’s talked about adding more dimensions to his offensive game (perhaps even taking 3-pointers this season) while also being more of a vocal presence in the locker room.
Being a leader comes with a lot of responsibility, but Adebayo seems prepared to carry the torch that Haslem has passed down and become the next carrier of Heat Culture.