Udonis Haslem returning to Heat for 20th season

Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat looks on prior to the game against the Philadelphia 76ers at FTX Arena on January 15, 2022 in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) (Michael Reaves, 2022 Michael Reaves)

MIAMI – Miami Heat lifer Udonis Haslem is running it back one more time.

Much to the pleasure of his fans and teammates, Haslem is returning to the Heat for a 20th NBA season.

Haslem announced the decision on Sunday at his youth basketball and cheer camp taking place this weekend at Miami High School.

He said the decision came down to something he and his late father had previously discussed, about playing 20 years in the NBA.

“I decided to follow through with what me and my father had talked about, and I will finish what I started and I will play 20 years,” Haslem said Sunday.

Originally signed by the Heat in 2003, the same year Miami drafted Dwyane Wade, Haslem has spent his entire 19-year NBA career in South Florida.

The 42-year-old has been with the Heat during each of its three NBA Championship seasons and all six appearances in the NBA Finals.

Haslem also is the Heat franchise leader in rebounds.

He has been a leader in the South Florida community throughout his career, both as a charitable organizer and contributor, and as a businessman.

All the proceeds from this weekend’s youth basketball and cheer camp benefitted the Udonis Haslem Foundation.

The man his teammates call UD has become a leader and mentor to many of them, exhibiting an unrivaled work ethic and vast knowledge of the game of basketball.

About the Author:

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.