Haslem’s Impact

Rather than this be a biography, I’m gonna speak from my heart if you don’t mind. Udonis Haslem’s NBA career is coming to an end. I honestly don’t know how I feel about that because while I believe that him stepping away is for his own benefit and for that his family. The fan in me will be sad to see him go.

They have been very few players in the NBA that has spent their entire career with one organization. Those include Dirk Nowitzki with the Dallas Mavericks and Kobe Bryant with the Los Angeles Lakers. And now you can add Udonis Haslem to that list. UD as we call him is a Florida boy through and through. Even though I will never understand why he went to the University of Florida instead of the University of Miami, I still consider Udonis Haslem one of Miami’s all-time icons. Haslem’s competitive prowess and penchant for physical altercations will always stay with me in my mind whenever I think about him.

The way he represented the city will always stay with me as well. From giving back through various charitable efforts to always playing his heart out during every game. Not to mention the type of person he was as well very affable and kind. I remember one specific instance meeting him as we were walking out of the tunnel to the parking garage. I had desperately wanted to take a picture but the security guard refused my request rather rudely but seeing as how it was three kids because I went with my cousins as well. I would presume he felt compelled to oblige our request even proceeded to tell the security guard in a rather colorful manner that it didn’t matter if he was on a mission as they called it and stopped and took a picture with us. Although it was a brief interaction, I will never forget the kindness that Haslem displayed toward me and my family.

It was moments like this that made Haslem’s career all the more special in Miami. From dressing up like him for summer camp Miami Heat day when the Miami Heat won the 2006 NBA championship to having any opportunity to meet him not once but three times it’s something I’ll never forget. If he were to somehow read this, I would tell him Mr. Haslam, you’ve left an indelible mark on a generation of Miami Heat fans in the city of Miami. Thank you Udonis Haslem, for always representing our city with dignity and class. We look forward to seeing what you do next whether it be in basketball or another field.

We love you OG thank you. Thank you for everything from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for showing me that never giving up on your dreams can lead you to stardom if you work hard enough. Thank you for just being unapologetically you. Most of all, thank you for steering the ship in the right direction of these years. Farewell Udonis Haslem, my captain.

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