Heat Legend Udonis Haslem Addresses Loss & End of His Career

43-year-old Udonis Haslem has officially hit the NBA hardwood for the last time and he speaks on his storied career and the Heat’s wild season.

Miami became the first team in NBA history to reach the NBA Finals from eighth seed and carried the underdog tag the entire way. (NB: The Knicks went to the Finals in 1999 as eighth seed but after a shortened lockout season)

Despite not getting the fairytale ending, Haslem was full of pride for his teammates and expressed his gratitude after the game.

“Oh, man, honestly, I wanted to get the win, but I’m proud of my guys, proud of my team,” Haslem said. “I have no regrets. I just thanked those guys for giving me this amazing memory to take with me.

“So, I tell the guys, I have no complaints, I have no regrets. I’m thankful. They gave me a final season that I will never, ever forget. That’s all I can ask for.”

Amazingly, Haslem had 20 seasons with the Heat and three championships but he is isn’t ready to relax yet.

He’s already thinking about how his teammates should use their loss at motivation for the 2023-24 season.

“I’m already thinking about next year,” Haslem said. “My message to the guys was don’t forget about how you feel right now. Don’t forget everything they wrote about you. Don’t forget about everything they said about you.

“Because for 20 years, I’ve been feeling the same way about the people who have been writing about me. For 20 years, I’ve been feeling the same way about the people that didn’t draft me. And for 20 years, I’ve been fighting the same battles. And what you see right now is the finished product, because I kept that chip on my shoulder.”

The Heat had the most undrafted players (nine) in the league by far this season and Haslem was an undrafted player himself once upon a time, so it made the journey to the Finals all the more sweet.

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“This team, truly, truly, more so than any other team I’ve played for, just embodied who I am and what I stand for,” Haslem said. “Not letting anybody pigeonhole you and tell you what you should be, taking that attitude that we can show you better than we can tell you, and literally once again just overcome obstacle after obstacle, getting knocked down and getting up and getting up and getting up.

“This team just embodies everything that I’ve been about for my 20 years, and I’m happy they got a little taste of what it feels like to be in the Finals. I told them they deserve it.”

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